Japan got off to a roaring start as the 2021 World Judo Championships began Sunday in Budapest, Hungary. Natsumi Tsunoda defeated Wakana Koga to capture the women's 48 kg class in an all-Japanese finals. After running an armbar clinic on her early round foes, Tsunoda showed her standing game against Koga scoring a wazari (half point) with a sacrifice throw and another wazari on a counter throw to claim the gold.
On the men's side, Yago Abuladze became the first judoka from Russia to win a world championship in a decade as he too scored a pair of wazari to defeat Gusman Kyrgyzbayev of Kazakhstan in the 60 kg finals. Technically, it was not a gold for Russia as Abuladze was competing under the banner of the Russian Judo Federation while the nation of Russia remains under a four year ban from all international sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
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