Oleg Kretsul won Russia's first Judo gold of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, defeating Tofig Mammadov (Azerbaijan) with a waza-ari the Men's -90kg class at the Workers' Gymnasium on Tuesday, September 9.
Kretsul earlier beat Spain's Abel Vazquez, Anthony Clarke (Australia) and Athens 2004 Paralympic Games gold medalist and main challenger, Messaoud Nine (Algeria), inside a minute in his semifinal.
Nine damaged his ribs during the preliminary rounds, and the injury restricted his movement. He was barely able to complete his earlier match against Andre Watson (United States), winning by a single shido.
The semifinal proved to be Nine's last match. He was unable to compete in the bronze medal match, and in his absence the medal went to Great Britain's Samuel Ingram by fusen-gachi (win by default).
Sliver medalist Mammadov earlier beat two-time Paralympic bronze medalist (Athens 2004, Atlanta 1996) Jonas Stoskus (Lithuania) by awasete-ippon and then overcame Germany's Sebastian Junk. In the semifinal, he beat Olivier Cugnon de Sevricou (France) by ippon.
In the other bronze medal match, Cugnon de Sevricou secured bronze by beating Anatoliy Shevchenko (Ukraine) on points.
There was also a finale of a different sort in the -90kg class. Five-time Paralympic athlete and gold medalist in the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Judo competition Clarke retired from competitive Judo after two losses, the last to a man 28 years his junior, 19-year-old Vazquez.
(BOCOG September 9, 2008)
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