Japan's Abe siblings completed a golden judo double at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday, with younger sister Uta winning the women's 52-kilogram division shortly before older brother Hifumi snared the men's 66-kg crown.
Having beaten France's Amandine Buchard for gold, 21-year-old Uta cheered for 23-year-old Hifumi from the edge of the mats, leaping jubilantly as he prevailed over Georgia's Vazha Margvelashvili in the final.
Their victories at Tokyo's historic Nippon Budokan took Japan's gold medal tally to five, including three from judo, and made them the first Japanese brother and sister to capture gold on the same day of Olympic competition.
Uta became the first Japanese gold medalist in her division, as well as its youngest-ever champion, while Hifumi is the first Japanese judoka to win his class since Masato Uchishiba at the 2008 Beijing Games.
"I think we put our names in history, and we were able to change history," Hifumi said.
The elder Abe defeated Margvelashvili in the final after deploying an outer leg sweep late in the second minute of regulation to earn a waza-ari point.
The newly crowned champion appeared stoic immediately after his win, but said he became overcome with emotion upon stepping off the mats.
"The Olympic Games were held in such a situation (of the coronavirus pandemic), and thanks to a lot of people...I thought I should pump my fist or smile at first, but thinking about everything, many things welled up inside me," he said.
Competing in her first Olympics, Uta fought her toughest battle of the tournament in the final against reigning European champion Buchard.
With the pair deadlocked through regulation, Abe pinned Buchard for a golden-score ippon victory after 4 minutes, 27 seconds of extra time. Uta struck the mat with both hands and exploded with joy.
"In the past four years, I was really working hard for these games, so I am very glad that my efforts paid off," Uta said. "When my brother won the gold medal, I was relieved, and was very happy as well. We congratulated each other before the victory ceremony."
The only non-Japanese judoka to beat her in recent competition, Buchard had prevented Abe from sewing up Olympic selection by winning their bout at the 2019 Osaka Grand Slam.
"(Buchard) is a rival and someone I really respect...I am very happy I beat her at the end," Uta said.
A two-time world champion, the younger Abe had powered her way to the gold medal match, starting with an ippon win over Brazilian Larissa Pimenta in the opening round.
In her quarterfinal against Briton Chelsie Giles, she scored the decisive point with a waza-ari in the last 30 seconds of regulation.
Her semifinal against Rio de Janeiro Olympic silver medalist, Italy's Odette Giuffrida, lasted just over three minutes into golden-score extra time before the Japanese threw her opponent to the mat for victory by waza-ari.
Hifumi booked his final berth with an ippon against Brazilian Daniel Cargnin, toppling him with a seoi-nage shoulder throw after 2:25 of the semifinal.
He opened his campaign with a golden-score ippon win against France's Kilian Le Blouch before outpointing Mongolian Baskhuu Yondonperenlei in the quarterfinals.
Cargnin took bronze after beating Israel's Baruch Shmailov, while Rio de Janeiro Olympic silver medalist An Baul of South Korea defeated Italian Manuel Lombardo in the other men's 66-kg bronze medal match.
Giuffrida and Giles were women's 52-kg bronze medal winners after beating Hungary's Reka Pupp and Switzerland's Fabienne Kocher, respectively.