Silva Earns a Bronze in Men’s Judo at the London Games

London Olympics 2012

Following a disappointing loss in the quarterfinals, Rafael Silva roared back to make it onto the medal podium at the 2012 Olympic Games.

The 25-year-old Brazilian judoka won the bronze medal in the men’s judo over-100kg class at the London Games by beating South Korea’s Kim Sung-Min on Friday.

Rafael Silva
Silva lost in the quarterfinals to Russia’s Alexader Mikhaylin but came back to win his next two fights against the Hungarian Barna Bor and Kim to earn his place on the podium.

Silva dominated the entire match against the passive South Korean, who did no more than defend himself until the judges handed him a penalty – his second – which meant a yuko score for Silva and the victory.
Rafael Silva
In his only loss at the London Games, Silva started out in command of the fight against the Russian, but as the minutes passed physical exhaustion began to show and he eventually lost control of the match.

After both the regulation five minutes and the three overtime minutes ended in a tie, the judges unanimously decided that Mikhaylin was the judoka who merited a place in the semi-finals.

Silva’s bronze medal performance makes him the fourth Brazilian to win a medal in Olympic judo at the London Games, following medals by his fellow teammates Sarah Menezes, Felipe Kitadai and Mayra Aguiar.

Aguiar Wins a Bronze in Women’s Judo at the London Games

London Olympics 2012

Mayra Aguiar will be having a bronzetastic birthday at the 2012 Olympic Games.

The Brazilian judoka, who turns 21 on Friday, beat Holland’s Marhinde Verkerk to claim the bronze medal in the 78 kg category in women’s judo at the London Games.

Mayra Aguiar

It’s the third medal Brazil has earned in judo at this year’s Olympics, following medal-earning performances by Aguiar’s teammates Sara Menezes and Felipe Kitadai.

Aguiar, who wasn’t able to compete for the gold medal after losing her semifinal match to world No. 2 Kayla Harrison of the United States, overcame that defeat to earn the bronze in stellar fashion.

Mayra Aguiar

Aguiar, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, exploded with happiness when she managed to hook Verkerk’s leg and throw her to the mat on her back in less than 90 seconds.

Menezes Beats Defending Champion to Earn Historic Medal in Judo

London Olympics 2012

Sara Menezes has claimed the first medal for a Latina at the 2012 Olympic Games… And, she’s done it in fine-fashion, winning the gold in the 106-pound weight class in Women’s Judo.

Following a shaky start in the preliminary rounds at the London Games on Saturday, the 22-year-old Brazilian judoka returned to fine form in the final fight of the women’s 48-kilogram category to defeat defending Olympic champion Alina Dumitru in a cagey final.

Sarah Menezes

Menezes, who kept her guard up like a boxer avoiding jabs throughout the match, managed to throw Dumitru twice in the last minutes for a convincing win.

“I’m exceedingly happy,” said Menezes, who placed 19th at the 2008 Olympics Games in Beijing. “I hoped and prayed for this medal and I got it at 22.”

Sarah Menezes

With the victory, Menezes becomes the first Brazilian woman to win an Olympic judo gold.

But she wasn’t the only Brazilian fighter to earn a medal in judo…

In the Men’s Judo: 60-Kilogram division, the bronze medals were won by Brazilian fighter Felipe Kitadai and Uzbekistan’s Rishod Sobirov.

Before each match, Kitadai touched the tatami before touching his judo uniform. He said he always thinks of the five rings when he dreams of the Olympics.

“I touch the rings (on the mat) as if to touch my dream with my hand,” he said. “It isn’t just technique that wins judo.”