Clarisse Agbegnenou continued her dominance of the women’s under-63 kilograms division by winning a fifth world title and fourth in succession at the International Judo Federation (IJF) World Championships in Budapest.
The Frenchwoman never looked like losing in the Hungarian capital as she won all five of her matches with ippons, defeating Andreja Leški of Slovenia in impressive fashion in the final.
Agbegnenou, who has won the gold in 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019 and now 2021, will now be aiming to become Olympic champion for the first time at Tokyo 2020.
Leški had to settle for silver while Anja Obradović of Serbia and Sanne Vermeer of The Netherlands secured the other two places on the podium after overcoming Anriquelis Barrios of Venezuela and Ketleyn Quadros of Brazil respectively in the bronze-medal matches.
The top seeds triumphed in both of today’s divisions with Belgium’s Matthias Casse claiming men's under-81kg gold for his first world title.
Casse lost to Israel's Sagi Muki in the final in 2019 but refused to finish second this time around as he defeated Tato Grigalashvili of Georgia in sensational style.
Grigalashvili threatened to take the title as he flew out of the traps but Casse clinched victory with an ippon 47 seconds into the golden-score period.
Japan failed to register a medal for the first time this week as Sotaro Fujiwara lost to Frank de Wit of The Netherlands in their bronze-medal bout, while Anri Egutidze of Portugal sealed a top-three spot after overcoming Sharofiddin Boltaboev of Uzbekistan.
It was a packed morning programme with 71 athletes taking part in the men’s under-81kg category - 15 more than yesterday’s under-73kg field.
It meant athletes had to negotiate an extra round in their bid for glory.
Casse was made to work hard in his opening bout as world number 118 Hievorh Manukian of Ukraine took the match into the golden-score period before the Belgian produced an ippon to avoid a big shock.
But after blowing away those cobwebs, Casse looked in complete control as he dismissed Hungary’s Benedek Toth, Eduardo Yudy Santos of Brazil and Fujiwara to progress to the semi-finals.
Most of the surprises came in the women’s under-63kg draw as second seed Nami Nabekura of Japan was dumped out by Barrios in the second round.
The Asian Games gold medallist picked up three penalties, with the third coming in the golden-score period.
Martyna Trajdos of Germany claimed bronze at the 2019 IJF World Championships but failed to get beyond the second round on this occasion after losing to Obradović.
Vermeer was at risk of following Nabekura and Trajdos out of the tournament as she came up against plucky Pole Angelika Szymanska.
The match was decided in the golden-score period with world number seven Vermeer producing an ippon to end Szymanska’s hopes of an upset.
Szofi Ozbas ignited the home support when the Hungarian booked her place in the quarter-finals after coming through a gruelling match against Gankhaich Bold of Mongolia which lasted eight minutes.
But Ozbas came unstuck against Barrios before her medal hopes were ended in the repechage when Quadros pulled off an ippon one minute into their bout.
Agbegnenou was in sublime form throughout the tournament and advanced to the final with an ippon against Vermeer.
The other semi-final was a closer affair with Leski pulling off a waza-ari to end Barrios’ bid for gold.
One of the best performances of the competition came in the first men’s semi-final as Grigalashvili took just 20 seconds to defeat De Wit after flinging the Dutch judoka onto his back for a stunning ippon.
Casse was involved in a tactical battle with Boltaboev but delivered the decisive move with a waza-ari with less than a minute to go to secure his place in the final for the second time.
Competition is scheduled to continue tomorrow with the women's under-70kg and men's under-90kg preliminary rounds, semi-finals and finals.
Every day, insidethegames will be providing in-depth coverage featuring a live blog with the latest results, a full round-up report at the end of the day, and a picture gallery showing the best of the action.
To read our live blog from day three, click here.