KSL OLYMPICS

Naohisa Takato Claims Japan’s 1st Tokyo Gold With Judo Win

Jul 24, 2021, 9:14 AM

Naohisa Takato of Team Japan...

Naohisa Takato of Team Japan reacts after his win over Wei Yung Yang of Chinese Taipei during the Men’s Judo 60kg Final on day one of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Nippon Budokan on July 24, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

TOKYO (AP) — Naohisa Takato has won Japan’s first gold medal at its home Olympics, beating Taiwan’s Yang Yung-wei in the men’s 60-kilogram judo final.

Kosovo’s Distria Krasniqi beat Japan’s Funa Tonaki in the women’s 48-kilogram final less than an hour before Takato made sure his team wouldn’t have a double heartbreak on the opening day of competition in its beloved homegrown martial art.

The charismatic Takato’s success and Tonaki’s heartbreaking, last-minute defeat could provide a much-needed jolt of excitement for a nation still feeling profoundly ambivalent about these Olympics and discouraged by the scandals and coronavirus setbacks surrounding them.

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Naohisa Takato Claims Japan’s 1st Tokyo Gold With Judo Win