Marie-Eve Gahie and Noel van' t End clinch maiden world titles in Tokyo

Last year's runner-up in the -70kg class earned France's second judo gold medal of the championships. The Dutchman claimed the men's -90kg crown.

By Alessandro Poggi ·

Marie-Eve Gahie has become the new world champion in the women’s judo -70kg class.

It was her first career world title and France’s second gold at these 2019 IJF World Championships, following Clarisse Agbegnenou’s epic win in the -63kg class.

"[Clarisse] is my big sister. When I look at her fighting she’s a huge inspiration for me," the Paris native told the IJF channel after her win.

"Before the final she told me to stay focused and to believe in myself, no matter what" - Marie-Eve Gahie on Clarisse Agbegnenou

The 22-year-old was the highest seed in the semi-finals after home favourite and reigning champion Chizuru Arai was eliminated in round three.

Last year’s runner-up Gahie performed an armlock after 15 seconds, forcing Portugal’s Barbara Timo to submit.

"I was thinking about last year, but it was a different final and a different opponent" Gahie said to the press.

"Last year I was crying, this time I'm joking...This is an important step on the way to Tokyo 2020. It's nice, I'm happy, I hope to come back next year and do it again."

Rio 2016 medallist Sally Conway beat Michaela Polleres of Austria for bronze, her first medal ever at the Worlds.

The 2019 European Games champion Margaux Pinot won the second small final by ippon, against Anna Bernholm of Sweden.

The winning ne-waza performed by Marie-Eve Gathie in the final.

In Anton Geesink's memory

Noel van't End is the first Dutchman to claim a judo world title since Ruben Houkes in 2007.

The winner of the Ekaterinburg Grand Slam defeated World No. 17 Shoichiro Mukai of Japan after scoring a waza-ari with less than 30 seconds on the clock.

"Ekaterimburg helped me with my confidence", the 28-year-old said in the press conference.

"These last years have been very good, I've been stepping up my game and this medal proves it."

Van't End has won his first world title at the iconic Nippon Budokan, the same place where 55 years ago Anton Geesink made history for the Netherlands, by conquering gold at Tokyo 1964.

"He’s been on my mind for a few days. Tonight it's been like he was there with me," van't End told reporters.

"[Anton Geesink] gave me an extra spirit, some extra power." - Noel van't End

Netherlands' Noel van't End reacts after beating Serbia's Nemanja Majdov in the semi-final.

In the men's -90kg tournament none of the top four reached the semis, with reigning champion Niko Sherazadishvili being knocked out in his second match.

Axel Clerge earned the third medal of the night for France by taking his second-consecutive bronze against 2010 European champion Marcus Nyman.

The other bronze went to 2017 world champion Nemanja Majdov of Serbia, who beat world No. 2 Krisztian Toth of Hungary.

Netherlands' Anton Geesink won heavyweight gold at Tokyo 1964.