Photo: Rafael Silva
Brazilian judoka Rafael Silva lived up to predictions and won the bronze medal in the men’s over-100kg. class by beating South Korea’s Kim Sung-min in the final match here on Friday.
Silva lost in the quarterfinals to Russia’s Alexader Mikhaylin but came back to win his next two fights against the Hungarian Barna Bor and Kim to make it onto the podium, the fourth Brazilian to win a medal in Olympic judo.
The Brazilian dominated the entire match against the passive South Korean, who did no more than defend himself until the judges handed him a penalty - his second - which meant a yuko score for Silva and his consequent victory.
In his only loss at the London Games, the 25-year-old Silva started out in command of the fight against the Russian, but as the minutes passed a certain physical exhaustion began to show and he lost control of the match to his rival.
After both the regulation five minutes and the three overtime minutes ended in a tie, the judges unanimously decided that Mikhaylin was the judoka who merited a place in the semi-finals.
For her part, the Brazilian judoka Maria Suelen Altheman had a chance to win bronze in the over-78kg. class but lost to China’s Wen Tong.
Brazil finishes its participation in Olympic judo with four medals - gold for Sarah Menezes and bronze for Felipe Kitadai, Mayra Aguiar and Rafael Silva - but with some of its top medal contenders like Leandro Guilheiro, Rafaela Silva and Tiago Camilo bowing out before even getting a chance to fight for a spot on the podium.