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Rediff.com  » Sports » Zolnir gives Slovenia its first judo gold

Zolnir gives Slovenia its first judo gold

Last updated on: August 1, 2012 01:00 IST

Zolnir gives Slovenia its first judo gold

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Slovenia's Urska Zolnir won her country's first Olympic judo gold on Tuesday, triumphing in the women's -63kg category.

The 30-year-old world number three, who won bronze in Athens in 2004, defeated China's Xu Lili in the final, getting the all-important winning score when she threw Xu over her shoulder for a waza-ari.

Slovenia had only ever won bronze in judo before and Zolnir's gold was their fourth in any sport.

- London Olympics 2012 - Complete coverage

It was also China's first judo medal in London after picking three gold and a bronze in Beijing.

The quarter-finals had earlier produced major shocks with both of the category's standout judokas, Japan's Yoshie Ueno and France's Gevrise Emane, surprisingly defeated.

World number one Ueno, who trudged off dejected after her loss, bounced back to win bronze, adding to her family's medal collection as her sister Masae was an Olympic judo champion in Athens and Beijing.


Image: Urska Zolnir
Photographs: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

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China takes third diving gold

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China claimed its third diving gold medal on Tuesday by winning the women's 10-metres synchronised platform and taking them a step further in their aim to sweep all eight titles at the Games.

Chinese pair Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao were practically in a league of their own, finishing on 368.40 points, more than 25-points ahead of Mexico duo Paola Espinosa, who turned 26 on Tuesday, and Alejandra Orozco who finished on 343.32.

Espinosa and her 15-year-old partner, like their male compatriots who took the silver in the men's event on Monday, chose dives with the greatest overall level of difficulty that score higher.

Canada's Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion took the bronze with 337.62 points.

Jung give Germany individual eventing gold


Image: Chen Ruolin and Wang Hao
Photographs: Feng Li/Getty Images

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Jung gives Germany individual eventing gold

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Germany's Michael Jung rode a controlled and flawless final round of jumping to take individual Olympic gold in equestrian eventing while team mate Sandra Auffarth nabbed the bronze.

Sara Algotsson Ostholt took the silver after an outstanding Olympic showing. The Swede lay in gold medal position entering the close contest but a knock-down on the last fence dropped her behind reigning world and European champion Jung.

Earlier, Germany took team eventing gold in the multi-discipline event which tests horses and riders in dressage, cross-country and jumping.

Britain's Mary King and Kristina Cook were third and fourth respectively going into the individual, but each had a pair of rails down, knocking them out of contention.

King finished in fifth place, Cook in sixth.

Their royal team mate Zara Phillips, who drew a packed crowd and a huge number of journalists to Greenwich Park on Tuesday, fared better. A confident clear round vaulted her into eighth place from 14th going in.


Image: Michael Jung
Photographs: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

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South Korea's judoka Kim gets revenge for Beijing

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South Korean Kim Jae-bum won judo gold in the men's -81kg category on Tuesday, getting revenge over the man who beat him to the Olympic title four years ago.

In a repeat of their clash in Beijing, 27-year-old Kim, the world number two, overcame holder Ole Bischof from Germany thanks to two yuko scores early in their contest.

Bischof, 32, had been seeking to become the first judoka to win the weight category twice at the Olympics.

Russia's Ivan Nifontov, the 2009 world champion, continued his country's success on the judo mat by winning bronze to add to the two gold medals they have already taken in London.

Canadian Antoine Valois-Fortier beat American Travis Stevens for the other bronze, the first judo medal for Canada since the Games in Sydney in 2000.


Image: Kim Jae-bum
Photographs: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

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Maneza wins second weightlifting gold for Kazakhstan

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Maiya Maneza won Kazakhstan's second weightlifting gold medal and set an Olympic record in the women's 63-kilogram category.

Svetlana Tsarukaeva of Russia got the silver medal while Canada's Christine Girard took bronze.

Maneza was second after lifting 110 kilograms in the snatch but rose to first place by taking 135 kilograms in her first clean and jerk for a total weight of 245 kilograms, an Olympic record.


Image: Maiya Maneza
Photographs: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

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Hancock wins 2nd straight men's skeet gold

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Vincent Hancock nearly retired from competition a year ago, then decided to chase another Olympic gold medal. It turned out to be a smart move.

At 23, the American is now a two-time Olympic champion in men's skeet shooting, successfully defending his crown on Tuesday with a score of 148 to take the top spot at the London Games.

Anders Golding of Denmark finished two targets back to win the silver, and Qatar's Nasser Al-Attiya won a shoot-off over Russia's Valery Shomin for the bronze at the Royal Artillery Barracks.

Hancock's win gave the U.S. a skeet sweep, after Kimberly Rhode won the women's competition earlier this week.


Image: Vincent Hancock
Photographs: Rebecca Blackwell/AP

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Estanguet beats old rival for canoe slalom gold

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Frenchman Tony Estanguet afforded himself a wry smile when he heard the roars and saw the Slovakian flags waving before his surge to gold in the Olympic canoe slalom C1 final on Tuesday.

Slovakia's favourite son Michal Martikan had just sliced down the Lee Valley White Water course in 98.31 seconds, guiding his bright red canoe through the surging foam to take the lead.

Next up was Estanguet, who like Martikan already had two Olympic gold medals to his name in the event during a rivalry that goes back more than 15 years.

Launching out of the starting pool, the 34-year-old from the foothills of the Pyrenees where he learned to paddle, Estanguet found the perfect balance of speed and precision to negotiate the 23 gates 1.25 seconds quicker than his great rival.

Spinning through the last upstream gate before driving to the finish, Estanguet roared his delight when seeing his time.

In the end they were divided by Germany's Sideris Tasiadis who snatched silver but it was the Martikan factor that had inspired Estanguet to take gold, as it has done throughout a career that has also brought him three world titles.


Image: Tony Estanguet
Photographs: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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