The first gold medal won by a Latin American athlete at this year’s Olympics came from a tenacious Brazilian martial artist.
Sarah Menezes won the under-48kg women’s judo gold on Saturday after beating defending champion Alina Dumitru of Romania in the final.
Menezes, who upset world number one Tomoko Fukumi to reach the gold medal bout, fought a tough and defensive bout against Dumitru. The patience from the twenty-two-year-old paid off when she threw the Romanian twice in the final minute.
“I feel like I’m floating!” said Menezes to the Brazilian press after capturing the gold. Her victory was the pinnacle of a judo career that she admitted started “as a joke” thirteen years ago.
Menezes wasn’t the only Brazilian to obtain a medal on Saturday. Felipe Kitadei, who superstitiously touched the judo ring before each one of his bouts, won bronze in the under-60kg men’s category. Swimmer Thiago Pereira finished behind Ryan Lochte of the U.S. and won silver in the men’s 400-meter individual medley.
In other Olympics results from Saturday:
- Colombia’s Rigoberto Urán nearly won the men’s road race but he was outsprinted in the final stretch by Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan. “Colombia, this medal is for you,” declared the twenty-five-year old who won the Young riders title at this year’s Giro d’Italia.
- Mexico obtained a surprising fourth place in men's team archery. The trio of Juan Rene Serrano, Luis Eduardo Velez and Luis Alvarez beat Malaysia and France before falling to eventual gold medalists Italy and then South Korea in the bronze medal match.
- Federico Molinari became the first Argentine to qualify for the finals of a gymnastics event. “This is something historic, I know,” said the twenty-eight-year old who qualified in seventh place in the men’s rings.
Online Sources- BBC Sport, folha.com, Reuters, Huffington Post, Clarin.com, Christian Science Monitor, Colombia Reports