Smetov, Pareto claim first titles at world judo champs

AFP
Kazakhstan's Yeldos Smetov poses with his gold medal following victory in the men’s -60 kg category at the Judo World Championships in Astana on August 24, 2015 (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Kazakhstan's Yeldos Smetov poses with his gold medal following victory in the men’s -60 kg category at the Judo World Championships in Astana on August 24, 2015

Kazakhstan's Yeldos Smetov poses with his gold medal following victory in the men’s -60 kg category at the Judo World Championships in Astana on August 24, 2015 (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

Astana (Kazakhstan) (AFP) - Kazakhstan's Yeldos Smetov got the hosts off to the best possible start and Paula Pareto struck for Argentina as the world judo championships began in Astana on Monday.

Smetov had the home fans at the Kazakh capital's Ice Palau venue in raptures after outpointing compatriot Rustam Ibrayev in the final of the men's 60kg category for his first ever world gold medal.

He left the arena in tears after his win on shido penalties.

South Korean Kim Won-Jin and Japan's Toru Shishime took bronze.

The 22-year-old Smetov's only previous career title came at the Asian Games in September last year.

Earlier, Pareto, 29, won gold in the women's 48kg division to go one better than 12 months ago.

She took the final 2-1 on shido penalties over Japan's former two-time champion Haruna Asami.

The bronze medals went to South Korea's Jeong Bo-Kyeong and defending champion Ami Kondo of Japan.

Pareto lost to Kondo in the 2014 final.

The home team lead the medals table after the opening day.

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