BEIJING 2022/Sunday Review & Preview: Why the IOC doesn’t run the Games itself; NBC ratings down 43%; Marino wins first U.S. medal

Japan's Olympic Champion Ryoyu Kobayashi

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= BEIJING 2022 =
From Lane One

“You know, quite often, I am asked the question, ‘Shouldn’t we standardize the Games delivery? Wouldn’t it be simpler to take it over and do it on behalf of the organizing committees, always having to start from the very beginning?’”

Christophe Dubi (SUI), the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Director for the Olympic Games, was asked to compare the Beijing Winter Games opening with that of the Tokyo Olympic Games last year at a Sunday news conference. Instead, he explained that ceremonies of any two Games cannot be compared and that the IOC does not want to “standardize” the Games:

“Well, exactly for this reason, it can’t be the case, because what makes the Games is the color, the flavors, the different food, the music, the atmosphere, and every time, what is fascinating – where we sit, where you sit, as media – is to witness the difference, but at the very same time, the pride of a nation, showing to the rest of the world what they stand for.

“So you never compare, you always enjoy, because these are very privileged moments in time.”

The operations of the Games seem to be progressing well, although there was a complaint from the German National Olympic Committee that the isolation quarters for athletes who had contracted Covid were too small, had poor Internet service, lacked access to training equipment and had irregularly-delivered food.

Beijing 2022 spokesman Weidong Zhao said this was being addressed and that the organizers are now allowing athletes in isolation to order meals from the Olympic Village menu, which were then delivered to them. The same issue was raised in Tokyo, and was eventually solved.

Early reports on television ratings indicated that 316 million people in China watched some part of the Opening Ceremonies, a truly massive number. For comparison, the worldwide audience for the 2018 opening in PyeongChang (KOR) was estimated at 320 million. Wow!

NBC’s preliminary ratings weren’t as good, with a total audience – on television and online – of about 16.0 million watching some part of the all-day Friday ceremonies programming (it was shown live in the morning in the U.S. and again during primetime). If the figures are confirmed, that’s a 43% drop from the 2018 PyeongChang Opening Ceremonies audience of 28.3 million and down from the Tokyo Olympic opening-day audience of 17.0 million last July.

Russia is already having a good Winter Games, leading the list with five medals (1-2-2), while Norway (2-0-1), Austria (0-2-1) and Italy (0-2-1) have three each and eight countries have two each (the U.S. has two: 0-2-0).

However, this is hardly a real comparison of team strength, so we have a fairer TSX scoring system that uses the top eight places, using the time-honored U.S. scoring of 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1. So after 12 of 109 events:

1. 56, Russia
2. 44, Norway
3. 34, Japan
4. 32, Sweden and the United States
6. 31. Germany
7. 30, Netherlands
8. 26, Austria
9. 25, Slovenia
10. 24, Italy

As hoped for, Covid positives at the Games went way down, with the organizing committee reporting only 10 total positives for 5 February: four at the airport and six inside the closed loop.

Athlete and team officials positives totaled six (two at the airport) and four from other stakeholders (also two at the airport).

This followed relatively high infection totals of 55-21-45 over the prior three days.

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee reported Sunday that there were no new cases of Covid among the 554 members of the delegation in Beijing. The number currently isolated is now down to four, with one athlete. Bobsled medal favorite Elana Meyers Taylor was cleared and left isolation.

A considerable achievement for German speed skater Claudia Pechstein, 49, who finished 20th and last in the women’s 3,000 m on Saturday, but set a record for the most appearances in the Winter Games by a female athlete at eight.

Born on 22 February 1972 in East Germany, she first appeared at the 1992 Games for a unified Germany and won the first of nine Olympic medals. She won five golds, in the 3,000 m in 2002, in the 5,000 m in 1994-98-2002 and in Turin in 2006 in the Team Pursuit. Her Olympic Record of 3:57.70 in the 3,000 m from 2002 was broken – after 20 years – by winner Irene Schouten (NED).

Pechstein was a part of the 1992-94-98-2002-06-14-18-22 Winter Games, winning a total of nine medals (5-2-2) and served as her country’s flagbearer in the Opening Ceremonies in 1994, 2006 and 2022.

“I was not too fast, but I smiled when I crossed the finish line, because today I’ve achieved my goal to race in my eighth Olympic Games and it was important for me,” she said after the race.

The only other eight-time Winter Olympian is Japanese men’s ski jumper Noriaki Kasai, who competed from 1992-2018.

One of the best programs developed by the International Olympic Committee is its athlete scholarship program, which provides direct financial support. Yes, the IOC pays athletes.

For Beijing for 2022, the IOC explained that its program covered 236 athletes who qualified for the Games: 139 men and 97 women representing 67 countries competing in five winter sports. Seven teams (one men’s and six women’s teams) from six countries received scholarships, in curling and ice hockey.

From late 2019, 429 athletes from 80 National Olympic Committees received individual Beijing 2022 scholarships, and 16 teams from 13 NOCs.

IOC chief Thomas Bach has said repeatedly that the most impressive achievement of the Beijing 2022 project is that China is now a “winter sports nation.”

Three illustrations of this development cited by the IOC: winter sports are now taught in almost 3,000 schools; there are now 800 ski resorts, up from 460 in 2014, and that winter-sport tourism has increased to 254 million annually from 170 million in 2017.

It will be interesting to revisit these figures in 10 years.

The Olympic Broadcasting Services, which produce the host television signals for the Games, noted that it will produce about 900 hours of live competition and ceremonies coverage for the Games.

But that’s just a fraction of the total of 6,000 total hours of programming, including highlights packages and clips for broadcasters and social-media posts for its rights-holding broadcasters, in multiple languages. These are assembled from the incoming audio and video from 144 feeds from the various venues.

OBS has more than 660 cameras enabled for the Winter Games and a staff of more than 4,300, including 650-plus local students in the Broadcast Training Program.

One of the sterling performances during the Opening Ceremonies on Friday was by two teenagers who were holding national flags behind IOC President Bach as he gave his 690-word speech. Check these guys out: they never moved and never stopped smiling!

Great job on camera!
~ Rich Perelman


● Alpine Skiing: Men’s Downhill
Too much wind forced the postponement of the race until Monday. Sorry!

● Cross Country Skiing: Men’s 30 km Skiathlon
Four years ago, Norway swept this event, on its way to winning seven of the 12 events in cross country and 14 of the 36 medal places. Things may be different this time.

Russia’s 2021 World Champion in this event, Alexander Bolshunov, dominated both the Classical and Freestyle segments and won his fifth career Olympic medal and first gold in 1:16:09.8, more than a minute ahead of countryman Denis Spitsov (1:17:20.8). It was Russia’s second and third Olympic medals in this event; Norway has 12.

Bolshunov was the overall World Cup champ in 2020 and 2021, but had seen only intermittent success on the circuit this season, with one win and four medals. But he roared out of the start on Sunday and sailed away from everyone in the field except Finland’s Iivo Niskanen, with the pair 30 seconds up on the field at the end of the Classical leg. Niskanen faded in the Freestyle half, but Bolshunov charged home a solitary winner and Spitsov passed Niskanen for the silver. The Finn ended up third in 1:18:10.0, 49 seconds behind Spitsov.

Norway’s Hans Christer Holund and Paal Golberg ended up fourth and fifth, but well back; Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo, wearing bib no. 1 as the World Cup leader, was 40th. American Scott Patterson was an encouraging 11th in 1:20:10.0.

● Freestyle Skiing: Women’s Moguls
Australia’s Jakara Anthony led through every stage of the finals on her way to the gold medal, scoring 81.91 in the first round, 81.29 in the second round and 83.09 in the medal round for a resounding victory.

American Jaelin Kauf, a two-time Worlds medal winner in Dual Moguls, finished second at 80.28, and Russia’s Anastasiia Smirnova, the 2021 Worlds bronze medalist, was third again at 77.72 in the medal round.

Defending champion Perrine Laffont (FRA) was fourth (77.36) and American Olivia Giaccio was sixth at 75.61.

● Luge: Men’s Singles
Favored Johannes Ludwig (GER) recorded the fastest times on the final two runs on Sunday to move from the bronze in 2018 to the gold in Beijing in 3:48.735.

Austria’s Wolfgang Kindl, Italy’s Dominik Fischnaller and 2010-14 gold medalist Felix Loch (GER) remained in those positions after the final two runs to finish 2-3-4 in 3:48.895-3:49.686-3:49.878. Fischnaller moved up from a heartbreaking fourth in PyeongChang to the podium this time.

American Chris Mazdzer, who was a surprise silver medalist in 2018, finished eighth, and Tucker West was 13th.

Ludwig’s win was the 11th for a German – East or West or together – in the 16 times the event has been held.

● Ski Jumping: Men’s Normal Hill
Japan’s Ryoyu Kobayashi exploded on the World Cup scene in 2019, winning just about everything in sight, then appeared merely mortal in 2020 and 2021. But in 2022, he has roared back.

Near the top of the World Cup standings all season, he won seven times and dominated the men’s Normal Hill (106 m) with a 275.0-270.1 win over Austria’s Manuel Fettner, the surprise silver medalist.

Kobayashi’s first jump settled the issue, reach 104.5 m and scoring 145.4 points, more than six points up on second-place Peter Prevc (SLO). Kobayashi’s second jump earned 129.5 points, only fifth-best, but enough to ensure an easy win.

Fettner, who has never won an individual World Cup medal (!), jumped from fifth to second with the top jump of the second round, scoring 136.3. Poland’s Dawid Kubacki, a consistent World Cup scorer, got the bronze at 265.9, ahead of Prevc (265.4).

● Snowboard: Women’s Slopestyle
New Zealand’s Zoi Sadowski Synnott, the 2019 and 2021 World Champion, had to come from behind, but she saved her best for her final run and won the Slopestyle gold with 92.88 points.

Sadowski Synnott, 20, got off to a strong start, scoring 84.51 to lead the competition after the first round. But she was passed by by American Julia Marino (87.68) and stood second until she uncorked her best run of the day.

Marino, 11th in this event in PyeongChang, managed only 60.35 in the final round and settled for silver, her first Olympic medal.

Australia Tess Coady stood second after the first round (82.68), then fell to third after Marino’s big run in round two and then improved to 84.15 in the final round to secure the bronze. Canada’s Laurie Blouin ran up the third-best score of the final round (81.41) to finish fourth.

American Jamie Anderson, 31, the two-time defending gold medalist, ended up ninth at 60.78, after falling on all three of her runs.

● Speed Skating: Men’s 5,000 m
Sweden’s Nils van der Poel was the clear favorite, having won three of the four World Cup races on the season. But he had to wait until the final pairing for his chance.

Three-time defending Olympic champ Sven Kramer (NED) just made it to Beijing after recovering from injuries and took the lead in the first pairing at 6:17.04, good enough to end up a very creditable eighth.

The serious skating started in the fifth pair, as Dutch star Patrick Roest – the 2018 silver medalist at 1,500 m – took the lead with an Olympic Record of 6:09.31, erasing Kramer’s 6:09.76 from 2018.

That time held up under several assaults right up to the final pair, with van der Poel and Belgian star Bart Swings. But under pressure, van der Poel sprinted through the last 1,000 m and finished with an Olympic Record of 6:08.84 and the gold medal. It was Sweden’s first medal in this event since Tomas Gustafson’s win in 1988.

Norway’s Hallgeir Engebraten won the third pairing in 6:09.88 and that stood up for the bronze.


● Curling: The U.S. pair of Vicky Persinger and Chris Plys lost twice on Sunday, by 10-8 to Great Britain and 6-5 to Switzerland to fall to 3-5 and was eliminated from the playoffs. Italy continued strong at 8-0, with Canada, Britain and Norway at 5-3 and Sweden at 5-4. The top four teams will advance to the semifinals.

● Ice Hockey: Another impressive win for the U.S. women, 8-0 over Switzerland. The Americans got off to a 5-0 lead in the first period and cruised home, with goals from Hilary Knight (2), Jesse Compher, Kelly Pannek and Amanda Kessel in the first stanza.

Pannek and Compher got second-period goals and Dani Cameranesi got the last score, in period three. The U.S. is now 3-0 with an 18-2 goal differential. The U.S. will meet Canada for the Group A title on the 8th.

(9 events across 7 disciplines)

● Alpine Skiing: Men’s Downhill and Women’s Giant Slalom
The men’s Olympic Downhill – delayed by gusty winds for a day – has a clear favorite in Norwegian star Aleksandr Aamodt Kilde, winner of three of the eight World Cup downhills held this season.

But that means there were five other winners, including Bryce Bennett of the U.S., 2014 Olympic winner Matthias Mayer and Vincent Kriechmayr of Austria, Swiss Beat Feuz – the 2018 bronze medalist – and Italy’s Dominik Paris.

Feuz has won five medals in the eight World Cup races and overall World leader Marco Odermatt (SUI) has three silvers in the last four Downhills. He’ll be the favorite in the Giant Slalom, but he has an excellent chance to be on the podium here.

American star Mikaela Shiffrin’s Beijing odyssey starts here, in an event where she is the defending Olympic Champion.

In this season’s World Cup, Shiffrin has been one of the dominant players, winning the first two events of the season and placing second in the third, but that was her last medal performance, back in December. Since then, it’s been Sweden’s Sara Hector who has taken over as the best in this event.

Hector has won three of the last four races and was third in the other and starts as a small favorite over Shiffrin, France’s Tessa Worley – a 15-time winner of this event in the World Cup – and Slovakian star Petra Vlhova, the 2021 overall World Cup winner.

In the mix: Italian star Federica Brignone, the 2018 Olympic bronze medalist in this event, teammate Marta Bassino, who has a World Cup bronze in this event this season, and Swiss star Lara Gut-Behrami, the 2021 World Champion in the event.

● Biathlon: Women’s 15 km
Defending champion Hanna Oeberg of Sweden is back to defend her title, but she will have plenty of company, starting with sister Elvira, already a three-time winner on the IBU World Cup tour this season.

The individual distance events have been won by multiple athletes this year, including Marketa Davidova (CZE), Norwegian star (and World Cup overall leader) Marte Olsbu Roeiseland (four events), France’s Justine Braisasz-Bouchet and Italian star Dorothea Wierer. France’s Julia Simon and Belarusians Hanna Sola and Dzinara Alimbekava have all won multiple World Cup medals during the season.

Davidova and Hanna Oeberg went 1-2 in this race at the 2021 World Championships.

This is way too close to call.

● Figure Skating: Team Event
The final session features the women’s Free Skate, the Pairs Free Skate and the Free Dance, the last three scoring sections of the eight-part event. Through five segments, Russia leads the U.S., 45-42, with Japan (39) in bronze-medal position, followed by Canada (30) and China (29).

On Sunday, Japan’s Yumi Kagayama won the men’s Free Skate with 208.94 points, well ahead of Russia’s Mark Kondratiuk (181.65) and American Vincent Zhou (171.44, substituted for Nathan Chen to give Chen some rest).

As expected, Russia’s gold-medal-favorite Kamila Valieva dominated the women’s Short Program, scoring 90.18 to 74.73 for Wakaba Higuchi (JPN) and 69.60 for Madeline Schizas (CAN). American Karen Chen was fifth (65.20).

Russia looks to be the favorite, as it has strong entries in the women’s Free Skate and Pairs and should be good enough in the Free Dance not to lose ground to the U.S. After winning bronze medals in 2014 and 2018, the U.S. is poised to get silver this time.

● Short Track: Men’s 1,000 m ~ Women’s 500 m
PyeongChang gold medalist Sam Girard is retired, but U.S. silver winner John-Henry Krueger is back … but now competes for Hungary!

The 500 m stars from 2018 – China’s winner Dajing Wu and Korea’s Dae-heon Hwang – are both back and major contenders in this race; Hwang won the 1,000 m twice in the World Cup season, and Wu and Ziwei Ren should both be contenders for medals.

Krueger is a threat, but so are the Hungarian brothers Shaolin Sandor Liu and Shaoang Liu, a World Cup winner at 1,000 m this season as well. The surprise could be Canada’s two-time World Cup medalist, Pascal Dion.

The women’s 500 m has defending champion Arianna Fontana, 31, already a medal winner with a silver in the Mixed Relay, meaning she owns nine career Olympic medals, the most ever in short track.

She won once on the World Tour circuit this season, as did Canada’s Kim Boutin, the 2018 bronze medalist. Dutch star Suzanne Schulting, the 2018 1,000 m winner, is also a major threat.

The U.S. has two quality entries in Kristen Santos – a World Cup winner at 1,000 m – and Maame Biney, and Russian Elena Seregina will also be a factor.

● Ski Jumping: Mixed Team (106 m hill)
This event is new to the Olympic program and was held only once during the World Cup season, in late January with Slovenia winning over Norway and Austria.

Slovenia and Norway figure to be the favorites, but with women’s star Marita Kramer not available, look for Germany to contend as well.

● Snowboard: Men’s Slopestyle
The U.S. has won this event both times it has been in the Games, with Sage Kotsenburg in 2014 and Red Gerard – then 17 – in 2018. Gerard is back and ready to defend, but so is every one of the five Olympic medalists: 2014 silver medalist Stale Sandbech, 2014-18 bronze medalist Mark McMorris (CAN) and 2018 runner-up Max Parrot (CAN).

They aren’t the only contenders. Gerard will have to deal with teammates Chris Corning – the 2019 World Champion – and Sean Fitzsimmons – a World Cup event winner this season – plus Canadian Sebastian Toutant, Norway’s Mons Roeiseland and China’s Yiming Su, the qualifying leader.

● Speed Skating: Women’s 1,500 m
The 2010 and 2014 gold medalist, Dutch icon Ireen Wust is in the field and looking for a third gold and a fifth straight Games with a medal in this event.

But while she has one World Cup medal this season – a silver – there are other stars, including Japan’s reigning world-record holder and winner of three of the four World Cups, Miho Takagi, teammate Ayano Sato (three medals) and American star Brittany Bowe.

Although better at 1,000 m, Bowe won one World Cup and claimed a silver in another, and has never won an individual Olympic medal. She owns a World Championships gold (2015), a silver and two bronzes in this event and can help the U.S. regain its lost touch with the podium in speed skating with a medal performance.

Beyond the favorites are Canada’s Ivanie Blondin, Japan’s Nana Takagi and Dutch superstars Irene Schouten, already the 3,000 m gold medalist, and Antoinette de Jong.


● Archery ● The brief, two-event World Archery Indoor World Series (18 m) concluded with the Vegas Shoot on Saturday, with newer faces on the top of the podium.

Germany’s Felix Wieser, the 2015 European Indoor bronze medalist, has been steadily emerging into the top tier, and he won in Las Vegas, defeating France’s Thomas Chirault, 6-2 in the final. Jonath Wilthagen (NED) won the bronze over Alen Remar (CRO), 6-4.

The women’s final was a shock, with Britain’s unheralded Penny Healey, 16, taking down American Olympian, 17-year-old Casey Kaufhold, 7-3. Colombia’s Ana Maria Rendon won the bronze medal over Katharina Bauer (GER), 7-3.

The top three in each event also got nice going-home prizes of CHF 6,000-3,000-1,000.

● Athletics ● The New Balance Indoor Grand Prix was held on Sunday in Staten Island, with excellent fields and produced five world-leading marks:

Men/800 m: 1:45.12, Mariano Garcia (ESP)
Men/60 m hurdles: 7.37, Grant Holloway (USA)
Women/60 m: 7.07, Mikiah Brisco (USA)
Women/300 m: 36.21, Gabby Thomas (USA)
Women/800 m: 1:59.62, Natoya Goule (JAM)

In the men’s 60 m, American Noah Lyles – the 200 m superstar – used his top-end speed to emerge from a tight group and win in 6.56, a lifetime best. Tokyo Olympian Trayvon Bromell won the 200 m in a good 20.64, then had to be helped up from the infield, but appeared to be OK. The men’s 400 m saw Jareem Richards (TTO) hold off Vernon Norwood of the U.S., 45.83-46.06 to move to no. 3 on the 2022 world list.

Spain’s Garcia just ran away with the men’s 800 m, winning in a lifetime best – indoors or out – of 1:45.12, sprinting to the finish well ahead of American Bryce Hoppel (1:46.08). American Colby Alexander looked to be a sure winner in the men’s mile with a lap to go, but he faded and Ireland’s Andrew Coscoran had plenty of run on the home straight to overtake him and win, 3:53.64-3:53.83.

Spain’s Adel Mechaal ran away with the men’s 3,000 m, winning in a national indoor record of 7:30.82, the no. 2 mark of 2022. He won by almost seven seconds over Britain’s Andrew Butchart (7:37.42) and Luis Grijalva (ARG: 7:37.42).

Holloway was just too good in the men’s 60 m hurdles, running strongly from the first barrier and finishing in 7.37 to 7.47 and 7.51 for fellow Americans Trey Cunningham and Devon Allen. Even more remarkable: it was Holloway’s 2022 debut!

Donald Scott won the triple jump with his final effort of 16.68 m (54-8 3/4); U.S. star Will Claye finished third with 16.46 m (54-0).

Brisco came on in the final 10 m to win the women’s 60 m with a world-leading 7.07 over Jamaica’s Briana Williams (7.11, after 7.09 in the heats). Double Olympic medalist Thomas won the 300 m in a world-leading 36.21, with Lynna Irby second (36.42). Tokyo Olympian Jessica Beard won the 400 m in 52.88.

Goule had the women’s 800 m well in hand on the final lap, with Olvia Baker (USA) coming up to challenge into the final turn, but settling for second in 2:00.33. Spain’s Esther Guerrero held off Americans Heather Maclean and Nikki Hiltz in the 1,500 m, 4:11.87-4:12.29-4:12.32. Canada’s Gabriela Debues-Stafford was a decisive winner in the 3,000 m, passing Mekides Abede (ETH) on the final lap and winning with the no. 3 mark of 2022, 8:33.92; Abebe was second in 8:36.31.

Jamaica went 1-2 in the women’s 60 m hurdles with 2015 World 100 m hurdles champ Danielle Williams emerging in mid-race to win over countrywoman Britany Anderson, 7.83-7.88. That’s a lifetime best for Williams indoors and keeps her at no. 2 on the 2022 world list.

Britain’s Lorraine Ugen won the women’s long jump at 6.71 m (22-0 1/4).

At the Dr. Sander Columbia Challenge at The Armory in New York on Saturday, members of the brilliant Newbury Park (Ca.) High School distance squad tore up the all-time lists in the men’s mile and 3,000 m.

Senior Colin Sahlman won the mile – in his first indoor race! – in a sensational 3:58.81, making him the fourth prep to run sub-4 indoors. He’s now the no. 3 indoor performer ever, with the no. 4 performance and broke Thom Hunt’s iconic 1976 indoor performance of 4:02.7 for the fastest mile by a California prep.

Sahlman also crossed 1,500 m in 3:44.05, moving him to no. 5 all-time for U.S. preps.

In the 3,000 m, teammate Lex Young was fourth in the invitational section in 7:57.06, the no. 2 performance in prep history behind only older brother Nico Young, who ran 7:56.97 in 2020. And Aaron Sahlman – Colin’s younger brother – was eighth in the same race in 8:01.72, now no. 4 on the all-time prep indoor list. Wow!

In Hustopece (CZE) on Saturday, Korea’s Olympic fourth-placer Sang-hyeok Woo set a national indoor record and took the world lead at 2.36 m (7-8 3/4), out-dueling American star JuVaughn Harrison.

Both Woo and Harrison cleared 2.32 m (7-7 1/4) – an indoor best for Harrison – on their first tries, but Woo went on to clear 2.34 m (7-8) on his first attempt and 2.36 m on his third for the victory.

The women’s high jump had world-leading performances from Emily Borthwick (GBR) and Marija Vukovic (MNE) at 1.95 m (6-4 3/4), with Borthwick winning on fewer misses at the winning height.

● Judo ● The first Grand Slam on the 2022 IJF World Tour was in Paris, with a powerful field of 285 judoka from 52 countries and an impressive showing by Japan, which won 10 medals in seven divisions on Saturday alone.

Interestingly, this was not a repeat performance of the Japanese delegation at last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, but new faces. In the men’s classes, Ryuju Nagayama took the 60 kg final over Korea’s Seungbeom Jeon and Soichi Hashimoto won silver at 73 kg, with Olympic silver winner Lasha Shavdatuashvili (GEO) getting the victory.

Japan then triumphed in the 81 kg class with Sataro Fujiwara and at 90 kg by Sanshiro Murao.

In the women’s division, Natsumi Tsunoda (48 kg), Haruka Funakubo (57 kg) and Nami Nabekura (63 kg) all won on Saturday, and Wakaba Tomita took the +78 km title on Sunday.

In the women’s 52 kg class, Olympic silver winner Amandine Buchard (FRA) took the victory, defeating Tokyo 48 kg champion Distria Krasniqi (KOS) in the final. France’s Margaux Pinot won the women’s 70 kg class over Japan’s Saki Niizoe and then Audrey Tcheumeo won the women’s 78 kg division over Japan’s Mami Umeki.

Overall, Japan collected 18 medals, including seven wins, with France next best with three wins and 11 total medals.

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