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Gold Medal Contender Disqualified from Judo

July 20, 1996

ATLANTA (AP) _ The Olympic judo competition received an early jolt on the first day of competition when defending men’s heavyweight champion David Khakhaleichvili was disqualified today for failing to show up for his weigh-in.

The gold-medal contender from Georgia was to face Alexandru Lungu of Romania. But he reportedly went to the World Congress Center, the competition venue, for the weigh-in instead of the Olympic Village.

Khakhaleichvili was forced to forfeit the match and was eliminated.

In an early upset in the women’s competition, Brazilian Edinanci da Silva beat Japan’s Noriko Anno in the heavyweight division.

France was looking for a fast start today from men’s heavyweight David Douillet, who beat Harry Van Barneveld of Belgium in his first match.

Douillet was the first non-Japanese athlete to capture both the heavyweight and open events at the World Judo Championships last year. He successfully defended the heavyweight title he first won in 1993.

At 6-foot-5 and 275 pounds, Douillet is recognizable throughout France. He is one of the country’s more popular athletes, based on his personality and accessibility in a country where champions are sometimes aloof and distant.

The Olympic field also includes three former world champions _ Rafael Kubacki of Poland (1993), Sergei Kosorotov of Russia (1991) and Naoya Ogawa of Japan (1989).

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