ABE Hifumi has won Japan’s third judo gold medal at its home Olympics with an ippon victory over Georgia’s Vazha Margvelashvili.
He joins his younger sibling, Uta, who won gold on the same day, making them the first ever brother and sister to win gold on the same day in any individual sport in Olympic history.
Hifumi triumphed in men’s 66kg shortly after Uta claimed her own first gold medal in the women’s 52kg division at the Budokan.
“This has turned out to be the greatest day ever. I don’t think we, as brother and sister, couldn’t shine any brighter on this stage known as the Tokyo Olympics. I’m so happy. I felt really calm in the final,” Hifumi said after the final.
“It was my judo from beginning to end. I was incredibly thrilled without question. But I was determined to walk off the tatami of these Games in Tokyo with not only victory but with my chin up, looking straight ahead.
“The medal feels very heavy,” he added.
“There is so much in this gold medal. I may only be 23 but this gold medal contains all 23 of those years and I feel the weight of it. The path to get here felt like it went on forever.
“But the obstacles I had to overcome, they were all meant to be. It was all for this gold medal.”
Hifumi is a two-time world champion who had to win a gruelling, 24-minute bout against teammate Joshiro last December simply for the right to represent Japan at these Olympics. He won four straight bouts Sunday, including three by ippon.
Brazil’s Daniel Cargnin and South Korea’s An Baul both win bronze to complete the men’s 66kg podium.