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France books sensational victory over Team Japan
France books sensational victory over Team Japan
31 Jul 2021 14:00
IJF Gabriela Sabau / International Judo Federation

France won the first judo mixed team event at the Olympic Games. In the final the team of Japan was defeated, who would ever though that. The Japanese had won all four Mixed team World Championships, France ended with silver three times. This time though the French started well with a victory for U63kg Olympic Champion Clarisse Agbegnenou against Chizuru Arai, her equivalent U70kg. Agbegnenou gave the French the lead and Axel Clerget didn’t disappoint and built out the score to 2-0.

Romane Dicko couldn’t prevent Olympic Champion Akira Sone to make the 2-1 but big man Teddy Riner put the 3-1 on the board after a great match against Olympic champ Aaron Wolf.

Little Sarah Cysique had to resist Tsukasa Yoshida again, she did it before and this time she led the match by wazari and never gave it away. France claimed its eighth medal in judo at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, surpassing its record for most judo medals at a single Olympic Games (seven at Barcelona 1992 and London 2012).

Teddy Riner took his third Olympic gold medal after all and became the second athlete to win at least three Olympic Games gold medals in judo, after Tadahiro Nomura won the men's U60kg event at Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. In the individual tournament Riner finished with bronze and he won his fifth Olympic medal in judo.

Clarisse Agbegnenou became the second athlete to win multiple gold medals in judo at a single Olympic Games, after Wim Ruska (NED) won the men's +100kg event and the men's open event at Munich 1972.

It was a devastating loss for Japan with Shohei Ono in the team, but he was the last man in the line-up for Japan and didn’t have to fight. Ono had lost his first contest, the first loss since 2015, after he got beaten by Germany’s Igor Wandtke in the first contest of the Japanese.

Germany came back strong in the repechage with a  victory over the team of Mongolia and for bronze Germany beat the Netherlands by 4-2.

Israel was the sensation with a victory over Russia (ROC) in the battle for bronze. After bronze for Sasson and Gerbi in 2016 and two fifth place the Israeli had empty hands after the individual tournament in Tokyo. The whole team contributed into an exciting bronze medal fight and Timna Nelson Levy finished her match in style against Daria Mezhetskaia after Paltchik had beaten heavyweight Tamerlan Bashaev.

France wrote history in the Nippon Budokan with the first team victory.

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