2012 OLYMPICS | San Jose’s Malloy wins judo bronze
LONDON (AP) – Japanese judo fans can breathe a sigh of relief: After three days of competition the country that invented the sport finally won a gold medal at the London Olympics, thanks to Kaori Matsumoto.
Fighting in the women’s 57K division Monday, Matsumoto defeated Romanian Caprioriu in the final, using footwork to gain an advantage and eventually throw the Romanian for the victory.
The women’s 57K bronze medals were won by American Marti Malloy and Automne Pavia of France.
Malloy’s father, Marty, watched his daughter from the stands, where he was wearing a T-shirt with “Malloy” emblazoned on it, designed like a judo uniform.
“All I can ever remember about my daughter is her going to judo tournaments since she was 6,” he said.
Malloy wasn’t sure how he would reward his daughter but said there would definitely be celebrations later.
“First I’m going to have a beer in her honor,” he said.
Japan had already won two silver medals and one bronze in judo, but it expects the gold virtually every time its athletes step on the mat.
In the men’s 73K division, Russian Mansur Isaev took gold over Japan’s Riki Nakaya, the world champion and a favorite to win the division.
It was a close-fought final in which Isaev and Nakaya attempted to pin each other to the ground. Isaev was eventually able to throw Nakaya off balance before holding him down for the victory. After sitting on Nakaya’s chest, Isaev got up and held out his arms in what appeared to be some showboating for the Russian fans.
It is Russia’s second gold judo medal of the games. Arsen Galstyan won gold Saturday, the country’s first judo gold since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
Isaev came seventh at the world championships last year. Earlier in the day, he also beat world No. 1 Wang Ki-chun of South Korea in the semifinals. The bronze medals were won by Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal of Mongolia and Ugo Legrand of France.