Japan immediately great protagonist in Budapest on the first day of the 2021 World Judo Championships, the last Olympic qualifying event for the Tokyo Games. The Japanese selection, devoid of all the elements that will be part of the Olympic team, fielded an impressive show of strength at the female level, monopolizing the final for the title in the category up to 48 kg.
Natsumi Tsunoda, already world champion silver four years ago in the 52 kg, she became the protagonist of an amazing journey that culminated with the fifth consecutive ippon of the day in the final on the young compatriot Wakana Koga, reigning junior world champion and able to collect a precious silver at the first participation of her career in a Senior World Championship. Third place and Olympic pass for the Spanish Julia Figueroa, while the second bronze went to Mongolia with the number 4 in the world Urantsetseg Munkhbat.
First gold of the event also for Russia, with the triumph of Yago Abuladze in the men’s 60 kg after defeating the Kazakh for ippon in the final act Gusman Kyrgyzbayev. The Azerbaijani Karamat Huseynov and the Spaniard Francisco Garrigos complete the world podium in third place, with the latter confirming himself in great shape after the European title obtained in Lisbon last April.
Day-1 without finals for Italy, which can still be considered satisfied for having officially conquered the Olympic pass in women’s 48 kg thanks to Francesca Milani (today out in the second round against Koga). A bit of disappointment for Francesca Giorda’s elimination on her debut against an opponent within her reach such as the Chilean Mary Vargas Ley. Tomorrow there is great expectation for Manuel Lombardo, who will get on the mat to write a new page in the history of blue judo.