On the sixth day of the Tokyo World Judo Championships, France claimed their third World Title in the women's categories in three days with the victory of Madeleine Malonga, bringing France level with Japan on gold medals so far.
It proved that they are a force to be reckoned with in the middleweights. The other gold medals won by France came from Clarisse Agbegenou and Marie-Eve Gahié in the -63kg and -70kg categories respectively.
Besting her seventh place in 2018, Malonga claimed the title by continuing a three match winning streak against defending world champion - Japan's Hamada Shori - with a powerful, counter-attacking, osoto gari. It was an incredible moment for the 25 year old six-time World Judo Tour gold medallist.
This is Malonga's first ever medal at a World Championships. She was crowned European Champion in 2018 and won bronze in the European Championships two months ago.
When asked about her win she struggled through tears of joy:
"I'm very very very happy, it's a dream, it's a dream come true. I'm very very happy."
The gold medal match in the mens -100kg category was between the 2018 world bronze medallist Niyaz Ilyasov and world tour veteran Jorge Fonseca. Portugal has a rich history in Judo, but the one thing they are missing is a world championship gold medal.
Portugal have come close several times, Telma Monteiro has had four shots at gold before and Barbara Timo lost in the finals on Thursday.
But, after an early driving seoi nage for wazari, Fonseca held Ilyasov at bay and after five previous World Championship attempts finally claimed his red backpatch and became Portugal’s first ever Judo World Champion.
He blew kisses to the crowd and danced his way to the edge of the tamami in celebration.
Fonseca was joyous over his achievement:
"I'm very happy. I've never won a gold medal, this is the first time and specially as World Champion. I'm very happy, worked really hard for this competition and I hope I keep winning gold medals."
Brazil's two-time World Champion Mayra Aguiar showed great humility as she claimed bronze.
Michael Korrel continued the Dutch success as he claimed Bronze as well.
The move of the day came from Ireland's Ben Fletcher with a beautiful uchimata into kouchi gari against Kyle Reyes of Canada. An impeccable combination, and a perfect piece of timing.