Romane Dicko was supposed to win today. It’s Paris, she’s the world number one and everyone loves to see her smile at the end of a great day of positive judo.

She won her first contest in just a minute, throwing Mzougui (TUN) with a perfectly placed ko-uchi-gari but that was her last victory of the day. Kayra Sayit (TUR) outgripped her expertly to land herself in a semi-final with Hayun Kim (KOR). Kim had come past M Bairo (FRA) and Kamps (NED) to get there.

Number two seed Lea Fontaine (FRA) didn’t fulfil her destiny either, being penalised out of contention by the other Turkish fighter of the group, Ozturk. In the France versus Turkiye heavyweight head-to-head it was 2-0 to Turkiye, against popular local opinion.

Tolofua lost her quarter-final too, against Akiba, an unseeded Japanese judoka with only 3 prior appearances on the World Judo Tour.

The repechage became a mostly tricolour area but after losses in their respective semi-finals the two Turkish competitors dropped into the bronze medal contests, Ozturk to face Dicko and Sayit to face Tolofua. With the France versus Turkiye rivalry still very much alive, the French team wanted to reverse their fortunes and still find places on the podium.

Bronze medal contest: Romane Dicko (FRA) vs Hilal Ozturk (TUR)

Dicko wasted no time at all, throwing Ozturk for waza-ari and then holding her perfectly to upgrade to ippon. This took the tally to 2-1 in favour of Turkiye but Tolofua was still to compete for a medal as she had beaten teammate Fontaine in their repechage contest.

Bronze medal contest Julia Tolofua (FRA) vs Kayra Sayit (TUR)

The second bronze medal was won on penalties and Sayit was not happy about it. She couldn’t outgrip this Frenchwoman and had to leave in 5th place. The tally stood at 2-2, even, but winning in the right round gave France both bronze medals and Turkiye had to leave with no metal at all despite their fantastic start.

Bronze medallists Julia Tolofua (FRA) and Romane Dicko (FRA)

The final between Kim (KOR) and Akiba (JPN) was close, very close but just like her teammates from the lighter categories, Kim kept the pace high and the attack rate up. Eventually she won, 3 penalties to 2, sending Akiba to silver medal position.

Medals, cheques and flowers were presented by HH Prince Fahad BIN JALAWI, Vice President of the Saudi Olympic & Paralympic Committee, and Board Member of the Olympic Council of Asia and Ms Brigitte HENRIQUES, President of French National Olympic and Sports Committee

Final (+78 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (+78 kg)

Final Results (+78 kg)

1. KIM Hayun (KOR)
See also