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Mammadli records Azerbaijan's 1st Olympic gold
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Elnur Mammadli[Xinhua]

Elnur Mammadli[Xinhua]

Mammadli of Azerbaijan wins men's 73kg judo Olympic gold [Xinhua]

Mammadli of Azerbaijan wins men's 73kg judo Olympic gold [Xinhua]

Elnur Mammadli ousted South Korean Ki Chun Wang in the men's 73kg judo final on Monday evening, earning the first Olympic gold medal for the central Asian country in Beijing.

Mammadli, silver medalist of world championships 2007, managed an ippon victory with just 13 seconds in the five-minute bout.

Cheered by his compatriots shouting at the stands, Mammadli could not believe his sudden victory when the referee gestured an ippon. He confirmed the result by staring at the referee also with a finger gesture when still bended knees on the mat.

"It is so unbelievable that I can beat him so quickly, I am very happy," Mammadli said. "It has been the first judo gold for my country and I hope the other Azerbaijani athletes could have the same good luck."

The gold medalist contributed his success a lot to his native supporters, saying "I'm bowing deeply in front of the people of Azerbaijan."

The Azerbaijani judoka showed another three ippons in all four games before entering the final, in which he only surrendered one score of koka in the whole day's competition.

He bit the medal when standing at the top platform to taste his first Olympic champion, his best international result before coming to Beijing was silver medal of the 2007 world championships in Rio de janeiro.

Ki Chun Wang, the favorite competitor for his world champion last year in Rio, had also nearly made his opponents scoreless in the four matches before final, but he failed even to make an attack to defeat Mammadli again.

Rasul Boquiev from Tajikistan outscored Dirk van Tichelt from Belgium to win the bronze medal after he was defeated by Wang.

Boquiev celebrated another Middle Asian country's judo medal with Mammadli at the medal rewarding ceremony.

"Actually it is the first Olympic medal for Tajikistan," Boquiev said, "I'm just very glad that my country gave me the opportunity to come here to compete in this category."

"My success will prove that there are also people who are good at judo in Tajikistan," he added.

Leandro Guilheiro from Brazil won his second consecutive Olympic bronze medal by throwing down Ali Malomat from Iran with an ippon after qualifying from a repechage.

China's Si Rijigawa made the best Olympic result of men's judoka of the country by winning two bouts and entering quarterfinal in which he was outscored by Boquiev.

(Xinhua News Agency August 11, 2008)

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