Host countries often outperform at the Olympics, and Japan wasted no time capturing its first gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Games, appropriately enough in judo, a sport the Japanese dominate.
On the first full day of competition, Naohisa Takato won a gold medal in judo in the under-60 kilogram weight class, making up for his disappointing bronze medal finish at the Rio Games in 2016. The three-time world champion beat Taiwan’s Yang Yung Wei at Nippon Budokan, the sport’s hallowed home.
Takato, who is the highest-ranked judoka in his weight class, won gold just after Funa Tonaki won a silver medal in the women’s under-48 kilogram class.
Japan has medal contenders in virtually every weight class in judo. The national judo team is so dominant its nickname is “Godzilla Japan.”