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China's Xian Dongmei defends Olympic judo title
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Xian Dongmei won China's first judo gold medal at the Beijing Olympics Sunday, stunning Kum Ae An from the Domecratic People's Republic of Korea in the final of the 52-kilogram class.

Xian, the gold medalist at the Athens Games, beat three opponents consecutively by ippon en route to the final, where she defeated Kum with a yuko and a penalty koka.

The 33-year-old veteran gave birth to a girl 18 months ago, three ippon games in the women's light-weight competition which added the fifth medal to China's gold haul at the Games.

"I really want to thank my husband who has given a lot of support to me for coming back to judo after marriage and giving birth to our daughter," said the 33-year-old veteran who gave birth to a girl 18 months ago.

"I am very happy to win an Olympic gold again, especially this time in Beijing."

After a bye in her first bout, Xian had a perfect start in which she ipponed Spanish Ana Carrascosa by directly pushing the opponent to the mat with just one minute and 19 seconds, sharing her symbolic smile with 5,000-strong cheering spectators in the gymnasium.

"One of the reasons for my return is that the Olympic Games will be held in my own country for the first time, that really motivated me," said Xian who has taken on her judokgi once again since May 2007 when summoned by the national team.

"I have experienced very tough time after coming back for restore my ability," said Xian, who has been the first Chinese judoka who managed to win gold medals in two consecutive Olympic Games and also the first ever mama Olympic champion in China.

Xian, who had received two-year training for Chinese wrestling before she turned to judo at 15, told that she had used a special technique learned from wrestling to defeat her opponents in the competition, saying that the most thing she want to do after the match is to have a good rest.

Meeting world champion silver medalist Telma Monteiro of Portugal in the next, Xian surrendered an early yuko but rallied to tie by active attacks composedly. Leading another koka advantage with 45 seconds left in the five-minute bout, she shoulder throwed the Portuguese to the mat with a decision of waza-ari by the referee who soon rectified to gesture an ippon victory.

At the semifinal, Xian jumped on Soraya Haddad from Algeria, world broze medalist in 2005, and again shoulder throwed the opponent to win another ippon.

Soraya Haddad from Algeria oustered Sholpan Kaliyeva from Kazakhstan with a waza-ari to grab a bronze medal.

"I am so happy today because my bronze medal will encourage the judokas in my country," said Haddad who has won the first ever judo medal for Algeria and all of Africa at Olympic Games.

Japan's 19-year-old Nakamura, gave a koka loss to Kum Ae An at semifinal, struggled in the competition after a gold-score game and later ipponed South Korean Kyung Ok Kim for another bronze medal of Japanese judo squad.

"I feel disappointed because I could not win the gold medal, It's all the same if it's not a gold medal but I feel disappointed more than I feel happy." the new star in the 52kg of Japan said.

The silver medalist Kum Ae An has not been reachable for a comment since she did not finish the doping test till the press conference's end.

(Xinhua News Agency August 11, 2008)

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