Fabio Basile produced a sensational performance to take gold in the men's 66-kilogram judo event at the 2016 Rio Olympics on Sunday. The Italian, an unseeded judoka entering the event, beat AN Baul of the Republic of Korea, after scoring an ippon in the final.
On a day of shocks, Majlinda Kelmendi also made history for Kosovo by taking the country's first gold medal after winning the women's 52-kilogram event, beating Italian Odette Giuffrida in the final.
Here are the results from Sunday's medal events:
|Olympic Judo 2016 Men's -66 Kilogram|
|Silver||AN Baul||Republic of Korea|
|Bronze (A)||Rishod Sobirov||Uzbekistan|
|Bronze (B)||Masashi Ebinuma||Japan|
|Olympic Judo 2016 Women's -52 Kilogram|
|Bronze (A)||Misato Nakamura||Japan|
|Bronze (B)||Natalia Kuziutina||Russia|
The day's biggest surprise involved Basile reaching the final. The Italian's journey included a memorable semi-final against fellow unseeded competitor Adrian Gomboc of Slovakia.
Gomboc was later made to submit by Uzbekistan's Rishod Sobirov in their bronze-medal encounter. The latter is no stranger to third-place prize in this event, as the International Judo Federation noted:
Masashi Ebinuma of Japan also took bronze in the B match of the men's event. He scored an ippon to see off a game effort from Canada's Antoine Bouchard.
So it was Baul in the final against surprise package Basile. It was the unseeded judoka who produced one more shock, when he forced an ippon to earn a gold medal nobody would have expected.
There was also a real shock in the women's event when Kosovo's Kelmendi defeated Japan's Misato Nakamura, the reigning world champion. As the International Judo Federation pointed out, Kelmendi had made history for her nation at this event:
It took a shido penalty to earn a gold score and send Kelmendi through after neither competitor scored a point in regular time.
Her reward was a place in the final to face Giuffrida. It was the place where Kelmendi took gold at her first attempt, capping a remarkable performance on the day.
The medal was also a first for her country, and the emotions were clear, per JudoInside.com:
Kelmendi beat Giuffrida 0-1s1 after scoring a yuko in regular time.
As for Nakamura, she was involved in another golden-score bout when the sudden-death format was needed to separate her and Brazilian Erika Miranda.
It was Nakamura who took the vital point to claim bronze and add some gloss to an otherwise disappointing day given her pedigree. JudoInside.com felt her disappointment was obvious:
Russia' Natalia Kuziutina made quicker work of her bronze-medal B match. She earned a shino pin to see off China's MA Yingnan.