It should be noted however that the two Japanese winners were not among the great favourites of the competition, but they knew how to raise their level to thwart the plans of the other nations. It should be noted that being seeded was a very good indication because three reigning world champions qualified for the final. None of them, however, managed to retain their title.
At -48kg and -60kg it was Hikari YOSHIOKA (JPN) and Taiki NAKAMURA (JPN) who won their respective gold medals. At -52kg, Giulia CARNA (ITA) brought gold to Italy after a day full of will and determination. It was good to see her smile after a tough day in the office.
Finally, in the -66kg category, we did not expect Nurali Emomali (TJK) and yet he was there, with his dynamic and flexible judo which disturbed all his opponents.
Technically, we discovered a very open judo, where risk-taking was total, ne-waza was at its best, while all are respecting the rules and values of our sport. The generation of champions hatched here in Ecuador will be the next generation of the major world events. With a little maturation, today's medalists will be tomorrow's champions. You have to remember their names and get used to them.
From tomorrow three additional categories will be competing. For women, it will be -57kg and -63kg while the men’s -73kg category will be in action.
The preliminary rounds will begin at 11:30am local time. Stay tuned and follow the action at https://live.ijf.org