Judo Suffers a Bizarre First Day

From Staff and Wire Reports

It was an odd day in judo at the Olympics.

First, defending heavyweight champion David Khakhaleichvili of the Republic of Georgia showed up downtown at the judo venue for his weigh-in and was told it was being held at the Athletes Village. When he couldn’t get back to the village in time, he was disqualified.

And Austrian heavyweight Eric Kreiger suffered a neck injury in a quarterfinal match, received lengthy treatment in the arena and then had to wait nearly an hour for an ambulance to take him to a hospital, because the on-site ambulance had a dead battery.

The extent of Kreiger’s injuries was not immediately known.

Capitalizing on Khakhaleichvili’s misfortune, Frenchman David Douillet, a three-time world champion since 1993, beat Ernesto Perez of Spain for the gold.

China’s Sun Fuming won the women’s heavyweight gold, beating Cuban Estela Rodriguez.

In the semifinals, Douillet won a decision against Naoya Ogawa of Japan, the 1992 silver medalist, in a match between athletes with seven world championships between them--Ogawa has four.

Douillet had an easier time against Perez in the final. Less than halfway into the five-minute bout, Douillet turned Perez and twisted his shoulder to the mat for victory.

Ogawa lost the match for one of the bronze medals to Germany’s Frank Mueller. Harry Van Barnveld of Belgium took the other bronze in a sport that awards two.

Edinanci da Silva, who Brazilian team officials say suffers from an excess of male hormones and had to pass a sex test before being able to compete, came within one win of a bronze-medal playoff.

“More important than winning a medal is to be recognized as a female,” da Silva, 19, said. “I’ve been fighting for this since last year.”




Gold: David Douillet, France

Silver: Ernesto Perez, Spain

Bronze: Frank Moeller, Germany / Harry Van Barneveld, Belgium



Gold: Sun Fuming, China

Silver: Estela Rodriguez, Cuba

Bronze: Christine Cicot, France