The Abe siblings have now won gold at the World Championships three times in a row, a feat they also accomplished at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Japan’s star judo siblings Abe Hifumi and Abe Uta won gold medals in the men’s 66-kilogram and women’s 52-kilogram categories at the World Judo Championships on Monday, claiming gold medals on the same day for the third year in a row.
The Tokyo Olympic gold medalists each won their second consecutive and fourth career world titles, with Hifumi defeating long-time rival Joshiro Maruyama in an all-Japanese final on day two of the championships in Doha.
In the match between Hifumi and fellow countryman Maruyama, the two athletes are so familiar with each other’s techniques that the final was intense, with over 6 minutes of Golden Score as family, fans and legends watched on.
Hifumi won the prolonged match when two-time world champion Maruyama received his third shido, or minor violation, of the contest after Hifumi had total control.
Abe Uta has an outstanding record in judo’s -52kg category, having won all but two of her international tournaments since 2016. In the preliminary rounds, she demonstrated why she was the obvious favourite, blazing her way through with some of the tournament’s best throws.
Diyora Keldiyorova, a young Uzbek, was on the other side of the draw, and the Grand Slam Champion appeared eager to make a statement on the world stage. She went all-out all day, scoring waza-ari-awasete Ippon several times.
But Abe Uta was too strong in the final, fending off Keldiyorova to win her fourth World Championship championship, a feat few have ever achieved.
The medals were presented by Qatar National Olympic Committee President Sheikh Joaan Al-Thani.
Walide Khyar of France and Baskhuu Yondonperenlei of Mongolia received bronze medals. The medals were presented by Qatar NOC Vice President Thani Al Kuwari.
The second day of the World Judo Championships in Doha began with speeches from IJF President Marius Vizer and Judo Federation of Qatar President Khalid Al Attiyah, followed by the official opening by the Chairman of the Organising Committee, Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani.
The opening ceremony included traditional performances as well as a light and dance extravaganza highlighting Qatar’s rich history and traditions.