Tokyo, Japan, July 30, 2021: Heavyweight Akira Sone won Japan’s ninth gold medal in judo at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, July 30.
Sone beat Cuban veteran Idalys Ortiz with an Ippon in the Golden Score period at the 8:52 mark of the match.
The 21-year-old Sone, the world champion, was making her Olympic debut in the heaviest category for women (+78kg). She fought courageously against Ortiz, whose silver was her fourth Olympic medal.
“I’m small for this category. It was hard but I did it and I’m so proud to prove it is possible to win with a small body,” Sone said.
Sone won when Ortiz was penalised for the third time for a false attack after taking two earlier penalties for non-combativity.
Sone added: “I competed today thinking I must follow other Japanese judokas who went on a medal rush from day one.”
The host nation reaped a rich harvest on the judo mat at the Nippon Budokan winning nine gold medals, surpassing the previous record of eight at the 2004 Athens Games.
Apart from Sone, the other Japanese gold medal winners are: men Aaron Wolf (-100kg), Naohisa Takato (-60kg), Hifumi Abe (-66kg), Shohei Ono (-73kg), Takanori Nagase (-81kg); and women Uta Abe (-52kg), Shori Hamada (-78kg) and Chizuru Arai (-70kg).
Japan also won a silver medal and a bronze in judo.