Chinese Tong Wen Wins Women's over 78kg Judo Gold

China's Tong Wen defeated reigning champion Maki Tsukada in the women's heavyweight judo final on Friday at the Beijing Olympic Games, making the Chinese judoda to be the first grand slam judo champion at an age of 25.

Tong ipponed 26-year-old Tsukada with only eight seconds left in the five-minute showdown when she was still behind the Japanese in score with an early lost of yuko.

Tong, 25, has won gold medals in the world championships, World Cups and Super World Cups with only an Olympic gold medal in absence.

The two giants jumped on each other to make an initiative. Although Tong had received overwhelming supports in the fully seated gymnasium, a slight flaw which surrendered a yuko to Tsukada made the 5,000-strong spectators quiet for a while.

Coach Wu Weifeng frequently shouted at Tong, gesturing her to calm down and use her mind in disadvantaged situation. Tong still seemed likely to fail in her first Olympic trip even Tsukada was penalized by a koka.

Tong, three-time world champion, tried to shoulder-threw the rival she had frequently overcome by a desperate fling for several times but gained nothing.

The Chinese ever-victorious Tong succeeded at her last attempt, roaring for the breathtaking victory coming from behind. Tsukada and her coach fell for missing an almost-achieved gold medal.

"There will be not a real Olympic champion without defeating Chinese judoka in this category," said Tsukada before the Games who won gold medal in Athens by defeating a Cuba judoka.

Tong has defeated the Japanese judoka five times in various kinds of international events, giving Tong a strong self-confidence to win the match once again.

"I have never played such a tough match before," Tong said, "I always lead her in scores in previous competition, so I have a strong will to win the match again even when I was behind."

Both Tong and Tsukada had not been scathed, qualifying to the final by almost all ippon games. Tong outscored Cuba's Idalys Ortiz in the semifinal.

Tong and Tsukada, whose body weights both exceeded 120kg, are the two heaviest judoka participated in the Olympic Games.

Ortiz, 19, later ipponed Dorjgotov from Mongolia to win a bronze medal. Her predecessors had won four silver medals in the previous four Olympic Games.

Lucija Polavder form Slovenia gained the other bronze medal by defeating South Korean Kim Na-young.

(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2008)

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