Posted: Friday August 3, 2012 2:09 PM

France, Cuba win Olympic heavyweight judo golds

Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

LONDON (AP) - France's Teddy Riner, the biggest star in judo, won the men's over-100-kilogram Olympic judo gold medal on Friday, giving him the only medal he was missing.

The 23-year-old Riner defeated Russia's Alexander Mikhaylin in an anticlimactic final in which he was mainly on the attack. Mikhaylin made little effort to fight, except to bat away Riner's attempts to grip his uniform, and was booed by the crowd.

Riner dropped to his knees after the victory before hugging Mikhaylin.

Riner has a record five world championships and won a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. On Friday, Riner used both throwing and grappling techniques to win his early fights with several match-ending ippon scores.

Bronze medals were won by Germany's Andreas Toelzer and Brazil's Rafael Silva.

In the women's division, Idalys Ortiz of Cuba won the women's over-78-kilogram judo gold, improving on the bronze she won in Beijing.

Ortiz defeated Japan's Mika Sugimoto in a cagey, drawn-out final with little action in which both fighters struggled to get a grip or catch the other off balance.

The match went into overtime, and judges ruled Ortiz the winner.

Earlier in the day, Ortiz triumphed over top-seeded Tong Wen of China in the semifinals. Tong was the defending Olympic champion and was unbeaten at international competitions since 2007. She later won a bronze in the repechage. The other bronze medal was won by Britain's Karina Bryant.

But the victories of Riner and Ortiz were perhaps overshadowed by a first-round fight Friday morning that lasted little over a minute. That featured Saudi Arabia's first female judoka Olympian, Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shahrkhani, a blue belt who has only been training for two years.

Shahrkhani was thrown flat on her back after just 82 seconds by Puerto Rican fighter Melissa Mojica. She appeared tentative on the mat, circling Mojica and avoiding direct attacks. Mojica finally grabbed control of Shahrkhani's collar before tossing her backward.

"I was nervous and afraid, but proud,'' Shahrkhani said of her fight afterwards. "I am proud to be the first Saudi woman, and I'm very grateful to the crowd who supported me,'' she said.

Shahrkhani said she intended to fight at the Rio Games in 2016.

"I will practice more,'' she vowed.

 
SI.com
Hot Topics: NBA Playoffs NHL Playoffs Golden State Warriors Bryce Harper Paul Pierce Masai Ujiri
TM & © 2014 Time Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you. Read our privacy guidelines, your California privacy rights, and ad choices.
SI CoverRead All ArticlesBuy Cover Reprint