Photo: Asley Gonzalez
Cuban judo team member Asley Gonzalez blew his chance to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games when he lost a tight final match in the 90 kg class to South Korea’s Song Dae-Nam.
Joining the first and second-place finalists on the podium were the two bronze medalists: Greece’s Ilias Iliadis, who beat Brazil’s Tiago Camilo, and Japan’s Masashi Nishiyama, who triumphed over Russia’s Kirill Denisov.
Gonzalez, the Pan American champion, could not find a productive combat rhythm against the South Korean’s conservative approach.
It was the first medal for the 22-year-old Cuban judoka, who could not hold back his tears on the mat and also participated in the Beijing Games in 2008.
Gonzalez generally fought a very equal match against Song and even dominated his opponent for several minutes of the contest, which was tied at the end of the regulation five minutes.
However, a few minutes into overtime, Song hooked the Cuban’s leg and threw him down on his back for the crucial point that decided the match.
Gonzalez’s medal is Cuba’s second silver in judo after Yanet Bermoy lost the women’s 52 kg class final to North Korea’s Kum Ae-An on Sunday.