Nastula, Werbrouck Win Judo Golds
Jul. 21, 1996
ATLANTA (AP) _ About the only thing that Poland's Pawel Nastula had trouble with was a sore neck. His judo opponents couldn't stop him from winning the gold medal.
Nastula steamrolled his way through five foes to capture the light-heavyweight event Sunday, beating South Korea's Kim Min-soo in the final.
Belgium's Ulla Werbrouck won the women's title in the light-heavyweight division, beating Japan's Yoko Tanabe in the final.
For the second consecutive day, both Americans were eliminated in their opening matches and failed to qualify for repechages.
Sandra Bacher of San Jose, Calif., lost to Hannah Ertel of Germany in the first round and Rene Capo of Minneapolis, at 34 the oldest member of the American judo team, was beaten by Mevlud Lobjanidze of Georgia.
Nastula, the 1995 world champion, was favored to win. At least this time the favorite made it to the weigh-in in contrast to Saturday, when the reigning Olympic champion in the heavyweight division, David Khakhaleichvili missed it and was disqualified.
Sunday, another competitor, Jordan's Walid Al Awazem, failed to make the weigh-in. Again, the team officials said they could not locate the place where the registration was held, although the sports director of the competition said they gave precise instructions on the location.
Stephane Traineau of France and Miguel Fernades of Brazil gained the bronze medals in the men's division. Judo awards two bronze medals.
Traineau gained the quickest decision in the division when he threw
Japan's Yoshio Nakamura to the mat in nine seconds in a quarterfinal bout. Nakamura is one of three brothers competing in Judo for Japan.
Nastula was impressive throughout all his matches, winning with different techniques according to the opponent's style.
Nastula is a three-time European champion. He showed he was in top form in his opening match as he quickly beat 1993 world champion Antal Kovacs of Hungary, with a stranglehold that forced submission.
He downed two other opponents with throws despite having to stop at least three times to revive from a neck injury. It was not immediately clear when he suffered the injury.
Still, that didn't stop him.
Less than a minute into the final against Kim, he was able to flip the South Korea over, immobilize Kim for 30 seconds and gain the victory.
Werbrouck, a two-time European women's champion, won over Tanabe, who retired for two years after the last Olympics before coming back to competition in 1994.
Ylenia Scapin of Italy and the 1995 world champion, Diadenis Luna of Cuba won the bronze medals. Scapin beat France's Estha Essombe to take the bronze. Essombe was taken from the match on a stretch with an injury to her left knee when Scapin took her down hard.