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Dateline: 20 September 2000
Major upsets in judo today, with world champions Hidehiko Yoshida and Keiko Maeda of Japan and Graeme Randall of Great Britain knocked out of the competition.
Japanese Champ Broken
Hidehiko Yoshida, the world champion at 90 kg, had to be carried off the mat today, the victim of a bad fall in his bout against Brazilian Carlos Honorato. Diagnosed with a broken elbow, he was unable to continue. (Given the players in this match, you'd expect the cause of the break to have been some sort of cool Brazilian jiu-jitsu move, but sorry, folks, it was just landing improperly).
Yoshida's exit sent Honorato to the final match against Mark Huizinga of the Netherlands. Huizinga prevailed for the gold medal, however, scoring an ippon after three minutes of jousting. Yoshida was taken to a hospital and released.
British World Champion Deemed "Too Passive"
British judo suffered another setback with world champion Graeme Randall's penalty-loss in the 81 kg competition. Randall, facing Iran's Kazem Sarikhani, struggled during the bout, garnering a holding penalty early in the match. Randall then drew two penalties for passivity, causing him to lose the match.
Judo is a martial sport with a requirement to show aggressiveness. If you execute a good technique but do not knockout your opponent (by clean technique--e.g. ippon, or by submission), judges award you points. Points are also awarded to your opponent if you are penalized--lack of aggression is one reason for a penalty.
As with many martial arts, combatants may be reluctant to initiate techniques for fear of being countered. It's not really known if that's why Randall was served with two consecutive passivity penalties, but Randall did say afterward that the Iranian "...wasn't giving me anything." At least one media source reported that Randall was so frustrated after the match that he initially refused to bow to his Iranian opponent and to the mat official.
Sarikhani lost in the bronze medal bout, getting thrown for ippon after just 19 seconds by Alexsei Budolin of Estonia.
Schutz Defeats Japanese World Champion in Upset Win
American Celita Schutz beat Keiko Maeda, the world champion from Japan, on her way to the quarterfinals of the women's 63 kg division. Schutz scored a waza-ari early in the match, and although Maeda fought back later, she was unable to overcome Schutz's lead. Schutz's run ended, though, in the bronze medal match against South Korea's Jung Sung-Sook.
For more Olympics information, consult the following links:
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The "gentle way" of judo looks not so gentle, especially after a big throw that flips a player head-over-heels and smashes him to the mat. The first Asian martial art in the Olympic games, judo is one of the few sports that allows you to choke your opponent until he or she surrenders.
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The best sites about the Sydney Olympics martial arts.
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