History after 43 seconds: Yarden Gerbi became the first Israeli to win a gold medal at the Judo World Championships when she defeated France's Clarisse Agbegnenou in the final in just 43 seconds Thursday night
The 24-year-old entered the championships, which were held in Rio de Janeiro, as the world No. 1 in the under-63 kilogram competition after winning a bronze medal at the European Championships.
The fight against Clarisse Agbegnenou, the European champion and a close friend of Gerbi's, lasted only 43 seconds.
Gerbi won all of her five fights in the competition by ippons – judo’s version of a knockout.
Gerbi began the competition with her quickest ippon of the day, knocking out Karla Catota Quijano of El Salvador in just 45 seconds.
Gerbi after win (Photo: Reuters)
The fight against Agbegnenou (Photo: Reuters)
It took almost three minutes for the Israeli to spring an ippon against Italian Valentina Giorgis, but she needed less than two minutes to do so against Tina Trstenjak of Slovenia to advance to the semifinals. Gerbi faced world No. 4 Kane Abe of Japan in the semifinals, but she came up with yet another ippon, this time by forcing her opponent into submission 2:47 minutes into the battle by pinning her to the mat.
Gerbi is the fifth Israeli to win a medal in the world championships, after Yael Arad, Oren Smadja, Arik Zeevi and Alice Schlesinger – and the first to win gold.
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