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Tong Wen wins women's over 78kg judo gold medal
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Tong Wen of China wins women's over 78kg judo gold. [Xinhua]

Tong Wen of China wins women's over 78kg judo gold. [Xinhua]

China's Tong Wen defeated reigning champion Maki Tsukada with eight seconds to go in heavyweight judo final on Friday at the Beijing Olympic Games, making the Chinese girl to be the first grand slam champion at the age of 25.

Tong ipponed 26-year-old Tsukada with only eight seconds left in the five-minute showdown of women's over 78kg category judo when she was still behind the Japanese in score with an early lost of yuko.

Tong, 25, has won gold medals in the world championships, World Cups and Super World Cups with only an Olympic gold medal in absence.

The two giants jumped on each other to make an initiative. Although Tong had received overwhelming supports in the fully seated gymnasium, a slight flaw which surrendered a yuko to Tsukada made the 5,000-strong spectators quiet for a while.

Coach Wu Weifeng frequently shouted at Tong, gesturing her to calm down and use her mind in disadvantaged situation. Tong still seemed likely to fail in her first Olympic trip even Tsukada was penalized by a koka.

Tong, three-time world champion, tried to shoulder-threw the rival she had frequently overcome by a desperate fling for several times but gained nothing.

The Chinese ever-victorious Tong succeeded in her last attempt, roaring for the breathtaking victory coming from behind. Tsukada and her coach fell for missing an almost-achieved gold medal.

"There will not be a real Olympic champion without defeating Chinese judoka in this category," said Tsukada before the Games who won gold medal in this category at Athens Games by defeating a Cuba judoka.

Tong has defeated the Japanese judoka five times in international events, giving Tong a strong self-confidence to win the match once again.

"I have never played such a tough match before," Tong said. "I always lead her in scores in previous competition, so I have a strong will to win the match again even when I was behind."

"I am very happy to win the match because I recaptured the champion in this category for my country to maintain a glory of Chinese heavyweight women judokas," Tong said.

China's Zhuang Xiaoyan, Sun Fuming and Yuan Hua had won three consecutive Olympic gold medals in women's over 100kg division of judo in Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney. But veteran Sun lost to Cuba's Daima Beltran in the semifinal at Athens Games.

"I didn't do well in the beginning of the final and I surrendered a koka because of using improper techniques and tactics," Tong said. "Tsukada did very good job today and I think we both have do our best."

"She is accustomed to throwing the opponent on the right side but it didn't work. So I told her to calm down and try it from left side and she did it," Tong's coach Wu Weifeng told Xinhua.

"I have been working on it (the way to defeat Tong) for a long time and I have done at my best," the silver medalist said. "I lost at the end of the final not because of making a mistake, but she was just stronger than me."

Both Tong and Tsukada had not been scathed, qualifying to the final by almost all ippon games. Tong outscored Cuba's Idalys Ortiz in the semifinal.

"Big girl you did it!" coach Wu said just after Tong won the game. Tong and Tsukada, whose body weights both exceeded 120kg, are the two heaviest judoka participating in the Olympic Games.

Ortiz, 19, later ipponed Dorjgotov from Mongolia to win a bronze medal. Her predecessors had won four silver medals in the previous four Olympic Games.

Lucija Polavder from Slovenia gained the other bronze medal by defeating South Korean Kim Na-young.

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