Japanese judoka Sanshiro Murao underlined his status as a title contender at next summer's Paris Olympics by winning the men's 90-kilogram division Saturday at the Tokyo Grand Slam.
The 23-year-old won all five of his bouts at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, culminating with an ippon victory over reigning world champion Luka Maisuradze of Georgia in the final.
The host nation collected two of the six gold medals up for grabs on the opening day of the two-day tournament, with Mao Arai also topping the podium in the women's over-78-kg class.
Murao, born in the United States to an American mother and Japanese father, is set to make his Olympic debut in Paris, with his selection to the national team a formality.
"The Olympics have been my dream since I was little. I want to build on this win," he said.
Having won this year's world junior championship, the 20-year-old Arai confidently made the step up to senior competition, defeating France's Lea Fontaine in the women's heavyweight final.
Soichi Hashimoto, who has secured Olympic selection at 73 kg, fell short in his Tokyo Grand Slam title defense, taking silver with a loss to Azerbaijan's Hidayat Heydarov.
Reigning Olympic men's 81-kg champion Takanori Nagase was eliminated in a third-round upset against eventual bronze medalist Zelim Tckaev of Azerbaijan.
Tokyo Olympic gold medal-winning siblings Hifumi and Uta Abe will contest the men's 66-kg and women's 52-kg divisions, respectively, on Sunday.