Olympics-Judo-Japan's Abe siblings still in hunt for matching golds in Tokyo


Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Judo - Women's 52kg - Quarterfinal - Nippon Budokan - Tokyo, Japan - July 25, 2021. Chelsie Giles of Britain in action against Uta Abe of Japan REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's judoka siblings, Uta Abe and her older brother Hifumi, both advanced into semi-finals at the Tokyo Games on Sunday, handily beating their opponents as they chase gold medals on the same day, the first such feat in the sport in Olympic history.

The advance of the Abe siblings came a day after the triple world champion judoka Naohisa Takato secured Japan's first gold medal with victory over Taiwan's Yang Yung-wei on Saturday. In a bright start to the Games for the host country, it already secured two further golds on Sunday, in swimming and skateboarding https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/japan-pm-offers-congrats-gold-medallist-games-heat-up-2021-07-25.

Hifumi, 23, made his way through the elimination round of 16 in the 66 kg category in a tight bout with Kilian Le Blouch, throwing the French athlete to the tatami mat to score an ippon victory - judo's equivalent of a knockout - in sudden death overtime.

In the following quarter-final, he saw off Baskhuu Yondonperenlei of Mongolia with less impressive but still decisive waza-ari.

Sister Uta, 21, also dominated both her matches in the 52 kg category.

In the round of 16 against Brazil's Larissa Pimenta, Uta went for a pin to score an ippon victory, and in the quarter-final a waza-ari was enough to beat Britain's Chelsie Giles.

The pair are now set for semi-finals scheduled to begin from 5 p.m. (0800 GMT), leading up to finals for both men's and women's competitions later in the day.

In an apparent changing of the guard, while the Olympic novice Abes advanced, defending Olympic champion Majlinda Kelmendi lost by waza-ari in overtime to Reka Pupp of Hungary in the women's 52kg elimination round of 32. Now 30, Kelmendi became Kosovo's the first Olympic gold medallist in Rio in 2016.

Her loss stood in contrast with the gold victory her compatriot Distria Krasniqi, 25, clinched on Saturday in the women's 48kg final against Japan's Fuka Tonaki.

(Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

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