Azerbaijan won its first Judo gold of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games at the Workers' Gymnasium on Tuesday, September 9, when Ilham Zakiyev triumphed in the Men's +100kg division.
The Azerbaijan judokas appeared to be facing a night of frustration after first Tofig Mammadov in the -90kg class and then Karim Sardarov in the -100kg division lost their gold medal matches, but Zakiyev finally secured a gold medal for his country by defeating China's Wang Song in the final by osaekomi ippon.
Zakiyev beat Park Jung-min of the Republic of Korea in his semifinal by osaekomi ippon, having earlier defeated Julien Taurines (France) by ippon in just five seconds.
Silver medalist Wang was involved in a tremendous semifinal against Gabor Papp (Hungary). Wang looked beaten when a down by a waza-ari but fought his way back into contention. Then, with 10 seconds remaining and needing to score, he threw Papp for ippon to win through to the final.
In the bronze medal matches, Taurines defeated Papp with a throw for ippon, while Greg Dewall fought back from being a waza-ari down to beat Park and earn the United States' first Judo medal of Beijing 2008.
(BOCOG September 9, 2008)