Japan basked in pride yesterday as it celebrated a record gold medal haul in the judo competition at the Athens Olympics. \n"Eight gold in judo, the most ever," blared the headline in the Nikkan Sports Newspaper, which featured a front page photo of Keiji Suzuki celebrating his title in the men's over-100 kilogram final against Russia's Tamerlan Tmenov. \nMaki Tsukada also won gold Friday in the women's over-78 final for the nation that invented the sport. \nJudo legend Yasuhiro Yamashita, a two-time gold medalist, says he knows the secret of the Japanese success. \n"The reason for the supremacy of the Japanese team is that we have very good technique and not only power," Yamashita said. "We're not going to defend in a match, we try to make the points all the time and try to make an ippon" or takedown. \nJapan's impressive run in the judo competition started on the first full day of competition when Ryoko Tani won gold in the women's 48-kg event, a win that prompted a congratulatory call from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. \nJapan finished with eight golds and two silvers in the 14 judo events. \nNo other nation won more than one gold medal. \nOther gold medal winners included Tadahiro Nomura, who won his third consecutive gold medal in the men's 60-kg, Masato Uchishiba, who won in the 66-kg class, and Japanese women Ayumi Tanimoto (63-kg), Noriko Anno (78-kg) and Masae Ueno (70-kg). \nEclipse \nThe eight golds in judo eclipses Japan's previous best of four at the 2000 Sydney Games as well as the 1984 Los Angeles Games, where only the men's competition was held. \nThe only blemish for Japan in judo was the shocking loss of defending champion Kosei Inoue in the men's 100-kg class. \nInoue, who was elected captain of the judo team, was heavily favored to take home another gold but was upset by Elco van Der Geest of the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
Kamaru Usman put on a Fight Island masterclass yesterday to retain his UFC welterweight world title by grinding down a brave Jorge Masvidal in Abu Dhabi. “I’m at the top of the mountain and everyone’s looking at me,” said the 33-year-old Usman after scoring a unanimous points decision 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 on the three judges’ cards. The Nigerian-American Usman (17-1) looked the fresher fighter, with Masvidal (35-14) having taken the UFC251 headline bout at just six days’ notice when Brazil’s Gilbert Burns (19-3) tested positive for COVID-19 and was unable to travel. The Las Vegas-based UFC pulled off a power-packed schedule with
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and
MONKEYS ALSO WIN: The Rakuten Monkeys kept the Brothers from the first-half title as they dominated the Uni-President Lions, scoring four in the fourth The CTBC Brothers still need another win to clinch the first-half CPBL title, despite thrashing the hapless Fubon Guardians 17-0 yesterday, after the Rakuten Monkeys beat the Uni-President Lions 9-2. Fans of CTBC Brothers were hoping to celebrate the first-half title, with a crowd of more than 10,000 packed into the Taichung Intercontinental Stadium for their home game against the Guardians. The figure was an attendance record for this year, when baseball and most other major sports events worldwide have been played in empty venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Entering the game, CTBC had pushed their magic number down to 2, meaning
Preparing to complete a ninth Serie A campaign without winning the scudetto, AC Milan decided that returning to the pinnacle of club soccer required a new approach. Roc Nation, the entertainment agency of US rapper Jay-Z is at the center of it, linking up with Milan to scour the world for sponsors, and use concerts and other high-profile events to attract new fans. And who better to ask about how to end a title drought than the team who just won their league for the first time in 30 years? “We have been talking to Liverpool, because they’ve been through the same path