Japanese judoka Saki Niizoe grabbed her first world gold medal Thursday with an ippon victory over Germany's Giovanna Scoccimarro in the women's 70-kilogram final.

The 26-year-old Niizoe became the first Japanese to win in the weight category at the world championships since Chizuru Arai in 2018, moving closer to her Olympic debut next year in Paris.

Japan's judo governing body is in the process of selecting one judoka in each category for the Paris Olympics.

Japan's Saki Niizoe (white) and Germany's Giovanna Scoccimarro compete in the women's 70-kilogram final at the world judo championships in Doha on May 11, 2023. (Kyodo)

In the final, Niizoe delivered an uchi-mata inner thigh throw and followed up with a hold-down for victory on Day 5 of the championships.

"Tears flowed as the joy of this victory exceeded my expectations," Niizoe said. "I'm sure people in Japan are worried if our country can win at 70 kg. I hope I've eased their concern."

In the men's 90-kg category won by Georgia's Luka Maisuradze, Japan's Sanshiro Murao settled for bronze.