Off the mark: Judo brings Russia first gold at Rio Olympics

Beslan Mudranov © Alexander Vilf
The Russian judoka Beslan Mudranov had the honor of winning Russia’s first gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was victorious in the men’s 60kg judo category on the first day of competition.

The 30-year-old Mudranov, who hails from Kabardino-Balkaria in the south of Russia, overcame his opponent, Yeldos Smetov of Kazakhstan in extremely tense and close bout at the Carioca Arena 2. 

Neither athlete was able to find a winning move during regulation time, which meant the bout went into overtime. 

After 44 seconds of the extra period, Mudranov produced a Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi throw, to finally claim victory. 

The bronze medals went to Japan’s Naohisa Takato and Diyorbek Urozboev of Uzbekistan. 

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