Russia has won eight judo medals at the Summer Olympics since its readmittance as a member nation at the Games in Atlanta in 1996. Russian men have fared fairly well at the past four Olympics, taking six medals, but without any golds.
Russia appears to have a few judoka scheduled to take to the tatami in London that are capable of winning medals. The following list includes brief profiles of all seven men to compete for the country, and the top competitors overall in each weight class:
EXTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT: Arsen Galstayan will represent Russia at 60 kilograms. He won a bronze at the 2010 World Judo Championships and should be competitive in London. The cream of the crop in the weight class includes Hiroaki Hiraoka of Japan and Uzbekistan's Rishod Sobirov.
HALF-LIGHTWEIGHT: Musa Mogushkov is a 24-year-old judoka with reasonable hopes of a medal-podium finish next month after picking up a bronze at last year's World Championships. Other names to watch for at 66 kilograms in London are Japan's Masashi Ebinuma and Leandro Cunha of Brazil.
LIGHTWEIGHT: Mansur Isaev is a veteran competitor with one World Championships bronze earned in 2009 to his credit. South Korea's Wang Ki-Chun and Riki Nakaya of Japan are better bets for the gold-medal match, though.
HALF-MIDDLEWEIGHT: Ivan Nifontov was the 2009 World Championships gold medalist at the weight. However, he is probably a longshot for a medal in London due to inconsistent performances lately and the presence of other more accomplished judoka at 81 kilograms like Leandro Guilheiro of Brazil, Kim Jae-Bum of South Korea, and Azerbaijan's Elnur Mammadli.
MIDDLEWEIGHT: Kirill Denisov has two World Championships medals at the top of his career accomplishments, with the most recent being a bronze earned in 2010. The best bets for medals, though, are Ilias Iliadis of Greece, Tiago Camilo of Brazil, and Japan's Daiki Nishiyama.
HALF-HEAVYWEIGHT: Tagir Khaibulaev is the reigning world champion at 100 kilograms, and is expected to challenge for the Olympic title. Other top judoka at the weight include Takamasa Anai of Japan, as well as Kazakhstan's Maxim Rakov.
HEAVYWEIGHT: Alexsandr Mikhailine is a veteran competitor nearing 33 years of age and possessing six World Championships medals, albeit with his best finishes from several years ago. The prohibitive favorite for the gold should be France's young star, Teddy Riner.
Patrick Hattman covers the Olympics for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He lived in Japan for more than a decade and enjoys learning about the sport of judo.
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