Judoka Sergiu Toma goes in history books with a bronze for country’s second Olympics medal
Sergiu Toma gave the UAE their second medal in Olympic history when he pinned down Matteo Marconcini of Italy in a bronze medal match of the men's judo under 81kg category in Rio during early hours on Wednesday, UAE time.
The UAE's first Olympic medal came at the 2004 Athens Olympics when Shaikh Ahmed bin Hasher Al Maktoum struck gold in the men's double trap shooting event.
There are two bronze medallist allocations in Olympic judo as the repechage method allows the best losers in the quarterfinals to qualify for playoff bouts where they meet the semifinal losers. Also winning bronze in Rio in the division was Japan's Takanori Nagase.
Gold in the category went to Khasan Khalmurzaev (Russia) who defeated the US' Travis Stevens in the summit round.
The UAE missed out on a golden chance to be guaranteed of a silver or a gold in the men's 81kg category judo competition just before midnight, UAE time on Tuesday.
In the second semifinal, the UAE's Sergiu Toma lost to Russia's Khasan Khalmurzaev by ippon (pinned down on the shoulders) in the 33rd second of the 'Golden Score' (extra time where to first to register an ippon wins the bout) after the two judokas had fought through the regulation five minutes with two penalties each.
In the first semifinal, the US' Travis Stevens beat Avtandil Tchrikishvili of Georgia with a clever ippon late in the first bout