The Olympic season is upon us, and I for one have probably never been this caught up in the Game’s festivities so I sacrificed yet another night’s sleep to watch some Judo and Boxing and have the full run-down for you guys here.
Doing a little research for this event and speaking with a lot of people a heck of a lot smarter than myself on the topic of Judo there were two key Judoka’s to watch – Japans Riki Nakaya who nabbed gold at the 2011 World Judo Championships and Ki-Chun Wang, the silver medalist at the Beijing Games.
Well, turns out the industry insiders were proven wrong, as Mansur Isaev of Russia collected the second gold medal for Russia in Judo defeating both of them on his route to the top of the class.
Day two delivered surprises in hoards early on but that wasn’t the case yesterday with all the favorites making their transitions to the final 16 without too many troubles, in fact things continued as the status quo until we reached the semi-finals.
The top four men in the competition battled it out for the top spot on the podium with Ki-Chun Wang falling to the Russian in dominate fashion before Riki Nakaya narrowly avoided Dex Elmont of the Netherlands to set up a Russia vs. Japan final.
Getting the medal didn’t come easy though as the defending champion took the fight into overtime but the 25-year-old Russian was just a step or two ahead of him as he collected his first medal in his first Olympics.
Women’s -57kg Judo
Similar to Colin Oates on Great Britain yesterday ago America’s Marti Malloy didn’t get the gold medal she aspired to achieve in her first Olympics expedition but she captured the viewer’s imagination with yet another underdog story.
Malloy upset number-two ranked Judoka Telma Monteiro on Portugal in the opening round, ironically enough Monteiro had faced her three times in the past, winning each time before this but the cindarella story had to end eventually, losing in the semi-finals to Corina Caprioriu.
Japan’s Kaori Matsumoto was deemed as one of the favorites from the get-go and she wasted no time imposing her dominance in her first three trips to the 28×28 mats but she really struggled in her final two fights narrowly avoiding Automne Pavia before the final.
Caprioriu who eliminated Malloy minutes previous was a tough match-up for Matsumoto really bothering her early on but as we went to over-time it was the Japanese star that was able to secure a throw to win the first gold medal for her Country in the sport that they invented.
Men’s -52kg (Flyweight) Boxing
Well, we were off to the races again with first-round boxing in the flyweight division, in the morning the -52kg boxers were pretty entertaining with a couple of hard-hitting matches and big comebacks, the key stand-outs were Samir Brahimi from Algeria and Mongolia’s Tugstsogt Nyambayar.
Brahimi didn’t get off on the right foot, taking a lot of punishment from Australia’s Jackson Darren Woods who beat him to the punch early on getting a commanding 6-2 lead but Brahimi fought back into it and would up getting a victory winning by two points.
Nyambayar much like Brahimi started off slow with his Azerbaijan’s Elvin Mamishzada beating him to the punch early on but when Nyambayar took control it was all but over as he dominated the rest of the fight with hard, well-rounded boxing to get a comfortable win.
The afternoon’ boxing was the place to be as they delivered far more entertaining 114-pound fighters than a few hours earlier with Frenchman Nordine Oubaali, Chatchai Butdee of Thailand, Cuban export Robeisy Ramirez, all amongst the key stand-out performers.
Oubaali was aggressive from the opening bell as he soundly out-boxed his Afghanistan-based foe for the duration of their fight, I’m a sucker for a good body shot and Oubaali gave me more than enough to keep me satisfied in his comfortable win.
Butdee met up with Selcuk Eker of Turkey who despite showing a lot of heart and determination just wasn’t on the level of Butdee who collected 24 points in his one-sided beating on the Turk, the highest score of the series thus far.
The show-stealer for the day was the Cuban product though, meeting the tough Japanese fighter Katsuaki Susa the 19-year-old Cuban ran cirlces around him, dominating the fight from start to finish as he attacked his entire body.
-81kg (Light-Heavyweight) Boxing
The morning’s boxing was at 178-pounds got a lot of talk amongst my twitter followers this morning due to the fifth American Marcus Browne meeting with fellow highly touted product Damien Hooper from Australia.
It was the Australian snapping the 4-0 unbeaten streak of Yanks at London with a phenomenal performance from both boxers in all honesty, the fight started a little slow with the Australian fighter getting an early upper hand before both turned up the heat for an action-packed final stanza that saw the 20-year-old Aussie get his hand raised with a 13-11 score.
The other key performer in the morning was China’s Fanlong Meng who dominated Ahmed Barki winning 17-8 as the southpaw took the reins early and didn’t let up winning quite soundly for the duration of the fight as the Moroccan fighter had nothing for him.
The afternoon’s boxing didn’t deliver on the light-heavyweight front like it did with their smaller counterparts on the other side of the venue as the only real stand-out performance came from Ukranian striker Olegsandr Gvozdyk.
Gvozdyk and Mikhali Dauhaliavets on Belarus both looked to finish their opponents here, both didn’t stick and move, both just slugged it out in entertaining fashion with Ukraine’s light-heavyweight hope taking control later in the fight to comfortably win the closing rounds to get up 18-10.
Well, that’s all for me folks, check out the other installments of this series if you haven’t already.
Day 1 coverage for Judo & Boxing can be found here
Day 2 coverage for Judo & Boxing can be found here
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