Fri, 17 Sep 2021

TOKYO, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Day two of Tokyo 2020's judo competition on Sunday saw a pair of siblings mount the top of the podium for the first time in Olympic history, with Japan's Hifumi Abe and his sister Uta Abe triumphing in the men's -66kg and women's -52kg respectively.

Born in 1997, Hifumi won gold at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics, as well as the 2017 and 2018 World Championships, while his younger sister Uta took the spoils at the 2018 and 2019 World Championships.

In the women's -52kg semifinal, Uta Abe defeated Italy's Odette Giuffrida by a waza-ari, while France's Amandine Buchard gave Fabienne Kocher of Switzerland a quick throw for an ippon in only 16 seconds. 21-year-old Uta beat Buchard by an ippon in golden score additional time.

"The Tokyo Olympic victory was what I had been focused on for many years. Therefore my joy, my happiness exploded. When my brother won the medal, I was relieved, and very happy as well, so I had mixed emotions," said Uta, who showed great tenacity in four matches she played.

"We talked and hugged each other when we were waiting the victory ceremony, and we said to each other 'congratulations'. I want to thank my parents for supporting us, what we've earned today was able to repay them."

Giuffrida shared the bronze medal with Chelsie Giles, whose medal was the first for Britain at these Games.

"It was not the medal I wanted, but nevertheless I was really proud that I won bronze because I had to overcome lots of problems to do that," said Giuffrida, who also won a bronze medal in Rio Olympics.

"After the game, I immediately called my family. My grandfather said to me before I left, don't worry about the color of the medal. If it's not the one you want, I will paint it the colour you want."

Vazha Margvelashvili of Georgia saw off South Korea's An Baul by a waza-ari, and Hifumi Abe overwhelmed Daniel Cargnin of Brazil in men's -66kg semifinal. In the final, the Japanese judoka claimed victory by a waza-ari in regular time, joining his sister as an Olympic champion.

"Today is the best day of my life," said Hifumi. "Gaining gold medals was our dreams, it was not what we wrote it on paper or said it in interviews, we had strong determination and we prepared ourselves, believed in ourselves."

"I was very happy when my sister won the gold medal, at that time I got even more determined to win," said Hifumi when asked how he felt when Uta crowned in women's -52kg.

An Baul and Cargnin thus shared third place in the category.

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