For the first time, the mixed teams event were held in the Olympic Games. It couldn’t be more apt given that judo is back home, in the Nippon Budokan, Tokyo.
The preliminary rounds went as the seeding dictated, with Japan, Russian Olympic Committee and France all coming out as victors of their pools, however Brazil were blindsided by the Dutch team who defeated Brazil 4-2 to be in the semi-final against France.
Japan had a shaky start in their first head to head against Germany as Theresa STOLL and Igor WANDTKE defeated ABE Uta and ONO Shohei. However the next four contests went in favour of the number one seeds.
The same could be for the ROC and France, though France ended up in a tense decider against Israel in the -70kg between Margaux PINOT and Gili SHAHIR. The first bout the Israeli had come out on top but PINOT wouldn’t allow for a second success.
In the case of the Netherlands, wins from Sanne VERHAGEN, Sanne VAN DIJKE, Noel VAN T END and Henk GROL secured their semi-final positions.
The semi-final between Japan and and ROC was a straight win for the host team, a 4-0 result. This means that the Russian Olympic Committee team will face Israel for the bronze.
On the other side of the draw it was an all-European affair between France and the Netherlands. First up was Guillaume CHAINE (FRA) against Tornike TSJAKADOEA (NED) which ended in favour of France, perhaps little surprise given the substantial weight difference. Clarisse AGBEGNENOU (FRA) made it 2-0 against Sanne VAN DIJKE. Next up, Axel CLERGET went head to head with Dutch 2019 world champion, Noel VAN T END, the French strength held out again as Clerget put a score on the board that Van T End couldn’t get back.
Yesterdays bronze medallist, Romane DICKO (FRA) was the deciding factor securing the clean, 4-0 win against the Dutch. Facing Guusje STEENHUIS, it was an o uchi gari in the final minute and a lot of motivation from her team that brought home the semi-final win.
Author: Thea Cowen