Olympic Judo Recap: Day Three Brings First U.S. Medal and Japan's First Gold

Yahoo Contributor Network

The U.S. earned its first judo medal in London as Marti Malloy-the American judoka who qualified for the women's Lightweight class-won a bronze.

Malloy impressed by winning her way through Pool C and qualifying for the semi-finals.

Although she lost there to eventual silver medalist Corina Caprioriu of Romania, she went on to secure a bronze in the repechage with a victory over Giulia Quintavalle-the 2008 Olympics gold medalist at 57 kilograms.

Malloy joins Ronda Rousey-a bronze medalist at 70 kilograms in Beijing-as the only American women to medal in Olympic judo.

Autumne Pavia of France joined Malloy on the medal podium for bronze.

As for the women's gold-medal bout, Japan won its first judo title in London as Kaori Matsumoto got the gold when her adversary, Corina Caprioriu, was disqualified for an illegal attack on the legs from behind, ending what had been a tense, closely-fought match.

Matsumoto had demonstrated superior technique throughout and came through with the title her teammates and fans back in Japan had desperately hoped for during the initial three days of competition.

And in the men's competition at 73 kilograms, Mansur Isaev of Russia continued the country's strong showing in judo by taking the gold in an upset victory over the favored Japanese judoka, Riki Nakaya, the reigning world champion.

Russia now has two judo golds in London, with Isaev's title following on the heels of Arsen Galstyan's first-day gold-medal triumph at 60 kilograms.

Japan is now in danger of not winning a gold in men's judo for the first time since the martial art was added to the Summer Olympics in 1964. The remaining four weight classes feature favorites from other countries that will make Japan's task exceedingly difficult.

Patrick Hattman covers the Olympics for the Yahoo! Contributor Network and looks forward to more drama and excitement from the judo competition at the London Games.

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