LONDON – Cuban judoka Idalys Ortiz was proclaimed Olympic champion in the women’s plus-78kg category in the British capital thanks to a judges’ decision giving her the win over Japan’s Mika Sugimoto after their match ended in a tie.
Ortiz dominated most of the match against the Japanese, who at one point was penalized for her passivity and lack of an offense.
The scoreboard, however, still read 0-0 at the end of the three minutes of overtime, so the referees had to decide which fought best in order to name the winner.
When the principal judge gave the signal, the three referees simultaneously raised a white flag, the color of Ortiz’s kimono, which had the Cuban jumping for joy who four years previously won bronze in Beijing.
In the semifinals, Ortiz had downed the top seed and four-time world champion, China’s Wen Tong.
The Asian fighter never displayed her vaunted superiority and it was the Cuban fighter who ruled the five-minute match to go on to her first Olympic final.
That morning the Cuban had already shown the top form she was in for the London Games and in less than two minutes scored three yukos and one ippon against her rival, Cape Verde’s Adysangela Moniz.
In the semifinals, the Cuban judoka beat Russia’s Elena Ivashchenko in a very tight match.
Ortiz’s teammates Yanet Bermoy and Asley Gonzalez earlier won silver medals in the women’s 52-kg. class and the men’s 90-kg. division, respectively. EFE