The -48kg division is dominated by the Japanese, with Haruna Asami and Tomoko Fukumi holding the first and second position in the IJF rankings list. Short of an upset, these two would meet in the final, and indeed they did.
Asami, who topped Pool A fought against Sarah Menezes of Brazil, who topped Pool B. The Brazilian was a gritty fighter but she was no match against the experienced and confident Asami, who threw her with a slick kouchi-gari for ippon.
On the other side, Fukumi topped Pool C while Charline van Snick of Belgium topped Pool D. This semi-final was a harder fight with the match going to full time and Fukumi winning by a yuko.
Bronze Medal Matches
A very determined Eva Csernoviczki of Hungary fought well against the capable Van Snick, countering her twice, first for waza-ari and then another one for ippon to win the bronze medal. France’s hope for a bronze medal was dashed when Menezes threw French veteran Frederique Jossinet with a cross drop morote-seoi-nage for ippon.
Gold Medal Match
The gold medal match was an all-Japan affair. Asami fought aggressively and took more chances than her team-mate Fukumi, who adopted a more careful approach. Asami’s attacking style bore fruit when she scored a crucial yuko with a very low ouchi-gari. With little time left on the clock, Fukumi fought back hard, attempting a reverse seoi-nage on Asami, but it didn’t score. At the end of the five-minute match, Asami proved she deserves to be ranked No. 1.
ASAMI, Haruna (JPN) vs. FUKUMI, Tomoko (JPN)
Bronze Medal Fights
CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN) vs. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)
JOSSINET, Frederique (FRA) vs. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA)
ASAMI, Haruna (JPN) vs. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA)
FUKUMI, Tomoko (JPN) vs. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)
WU, Shugen (CHN) vs. CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)
JOSSINET, Frederique (FRA) vs. DUMITRU, Alina (ROU)
1. ASAMI, Haruna (JPN)
2. FUKUMI, Tomoko (JPN)
3. CSERNOVICZKI, Eva (HUN)
3. MENEZES, Sarah (BRA)
5. VAN SNICK, Charline (BEL)
5. JOSSINET, Frederique (FRA)
7. WU, Shugen (CHN)
7. DUMITRU, Alina (ROU)