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Judo

A golden moment for Mongolia

August 15, 2008
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BEIJING - Mongolia won its first Olympic gold, touching off wild celebrations back home in Ulan Bator, the nation's capital.

Tuvshinbayar Naidan defeated Kazakhstan's Askhat Zhitkeyev for the gold in the men's judo 100-kilogram class.

"The first thing I thought of was my parents and my coach," Naidan said after the victory.

Others thought of history.

"We are proud descendants of the great Ghengis Khan, and Tuvshee [Naidan] proved the strength of Mongolians in the Olympics," said Boldoo, a 24-year-old student, in Ulan Bator.

Fireworks boomed, car horns blared, and people celebrated in Mongolia by downing vodka. Mongolia has won medals in previous Games, but never a gold.

Naidan scored a big upset over defending Olympic champion Keiji Suzuki of Japan in his opening bout. He scored a waza ari with just under two minutes remaining in the final, then added on two yuko to seal the victory.

Naidan, 24, used a traditional Mongolian wrestling technique to humble Suzuki, and then trounced Zhitkeyev in the final.

Azerbaijan's Movlud Miraliyev and Henk Grol of the Netherlands took the bronze. (AP)

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