Japan on top of the world with golden judo haul

Japan defeated France in the mixed team event at the world judo championships on Sunday to finish the tournament on top of the medals table with six golds.

Victory also allowed the Japanese to maintain their perfect record in the mixed final – winning all six times the event has featured at the worlds.

First to appear on the tatami, France's Joan-Benjamin Gaba stunned Soichi Hashimoto, the bronze medallist in -73kg division this week, inside 21 seconds.

"I had already lost twice to Hashimoto, so I said to myself: 'This time I won't lose'," said Gaba.

Margaux Pinot then looked impressive, beating new -70kg world champion Saki Niizoe with a golden score, but Japan came back to 2-1 after Goki Tajima's win over Maxime-Gael Ngayap Hambou (-90 kg) in overtime.

Coralie Hayme won on penalties after 6min 20sec to defeat Maya Segawa as France led 3-1 to stand just one point from the title.

However, new Japanese sensation Tatsuru Saito (+100kg) defeated Joseph Terhec on penalties before Haruka Funakubo brought the countries level at 3-3 by seeing off Olympic -57kg silver medallist Sarah-Leonie Cysique by waza-ari in under 30 seconds.

In the decider, newly-crowned -70kg world champion Saki Niizoe edged out Margaux Pinot on penalties.

As well as their six golds, Japan collected two silver and four bronze for a total haul of 12 medals.

France were second overall with two gold, four silver and two bronze.

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