Yamaguchi Falcão Florentino has ended Brazil’s 44-year men’s boxing medal drought at the 2012 Olympic Games…
The 24-year-old Brazilian fighter’s run in the men’s light heavyweight category was ended by Russia’s Egor Mekhontsev in the semifinals on Friday at the London Games, but he’ll return to Brazil with a bronze medal.
Falcão’s hardware matches the feat of his fellow countryman Servilio de Oliveira, who was a semi-finalist at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.
That 1968 bronze was Brazil’s sole contribution to the Olympic boxing record books… until these London Games, with Brazil guaranteed three medals.
Along with Falcão’s bronze, Adriana Araujo claimed a bronze in the inaugural women’s boxing competition on Wednesday. And, Falcão’s younger brother Esquiva will fight for the gold medal on Saturday.
The gold medal wasn’t meant to be at the 2012 Olympic Games… But Adriana Araujo is setting her sights on the future and the next stage of her career.
The 30-year-old Brazilian fighter had to settle for a bronze medal after losing to Russia’s Sofya Ochigava on Wednesday in the women’s lightweight boxing semifinal at the London Games.
Araujo started the bout on a strong note by attacking the current world No. 2. The first round ended with the boxers tied.
But Ochigava took the lead in the second round and went on to win, 17-11.
In the end, the Russian boxer—who will go on to face reigning world champ Katie Taylor of Ireland in the final—was quicker on her feet and a more effective puncher than Araujo.
“Bronze is not what I wanted, but I’m leaving happy,” said Araujo after the fight. “The next Olympic games will be in my country,” she added, referring to Rio de Janeiro’s role as host of the 2016 Olympic Games, “but I won’t be there because I’m going professional.”
Araujo joins Marlen Esparza of the United States as only Latina fighters to win a medal in the debut of women’s boxing as an Olympic sport in London.