Source: Xinhua

08-14-2008 19:54

Special Report:   2008 Beijing Olympic Games

BEIJING, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Tuvshinbayar Naidan from Mongolia claimed the men's 100kg judo title at the Beijing Olympics here on Thursday, beating Askhat Zhitkeyev from Kazakhstan in the final.

Tuvshinbayar Naidan (white) of Mongolia celebrates the victory over Askhat Zhitkeyev of Kazakhstan during the men 100 kg gold medal contest of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games judo event in Beijing, China, Aug. 14, 2008. Tuvshinbayar Naidan won the contest and claimed the gold.(Xinhua Photo)

Tuvshinbayar Naidan (white) of Mongolia celebrates 
the victory over Askhat Zhitkeyev of Kazakhstan during 
the men 100 kg gold medal contest of the Beijing 2008 
Olympic Games judo event in Beijing, China, Aug. 14, 
2008. Tuvshinbayar Naidan won the contest and claimed 
the gold.(Xinhua Photo)

Naidan, world-ranked 12th this year, defeated Zhitkeyev by waza-ari, an almost ippon victory, in the final. Before his win, Mongolian athletes had achieved 15 Olympic medals after their debut in Tokyo Games in 1964, but none of them was gold.

"I will contribute my historical success to my coach and parents who have given me a lot of supports," Naidan said. "Every one in Mongolia is celebrating for my gold medal.

"Mongolian-style wrestling does have something in common with judo, so I took this for an advantage and used some of them in the match."

"I have waited for a long time for this medal. I don't yet understand what happened and what is going on," said Zhitkeyev who was in his third Olympic trip.

The 24-year-old Mongolian made his way to the final by a surprise. In the first round, he ipponed two-time world champion Japan's Keiji Suzuki. Being one of the most favorites, the Japanese changed to half-heavyweight after winning the gold medal of over-100kg category in Athens.

Gold medalist Tuvshinbayar Naidan of Mongolia poses on the podium during the awarding ceremony of men 100 kg of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games judo event in Beijing, China, Aug. 14, 2008.(Xinhua Photo)
Gold medalist Tuvshinbayar Naidan of Mongolia poses on the podium 
during the awarding ceremony of men 100 kg of the Beijing 2008 Olympic 
Games judo event in Beijing, China, Aug. 14, 2008.(Xinhua Photo)

Naidan then gave a convincing performance by stunning Benjamin Behrla of Germany and Jang Sung-ho, Olympic silver medalist in Athens, to the semifinal. He later won Azerbaijan's Movlud Miraliyev by yuko in a golden-score overtime.

"My condition wasn't bad. I don't have anything to regret because I couldn't do anything," said Suzuki who was designated as the substitute of the country's flag bearer at the opening ceremony for table tennis player Ai Fukuhara.

"I have competed with him twice and he threw me in the same way, so I'm just ashamed of myself," he added.

"Naidan is a really powerful athlete. I am 33 years old. That may have had some impact," Azerbaijan's Miraliyev, who won the bronze by outscoring Poland's Przemyslaw Matyjaszek, said.

Henk Grol, world No. 1, from the Netherlands, beat Georgian Zhorzholiani to win the other bronze medal. He upset world champion Luciano Correa at the first round.

"Bronze is nothing, and I came for gold," said Grol who lost to Zhitkeyev in the semifinal. "It was my mistake."

"It's a stupid mistake he made in the semifinal. But I am happy with his medal since he is only 23. He is a very big talent," Grol's coach Maarten Arens said.


Editor:Si Qintu