Gold Medal Contender Disqualified; Douillet Wins Men’s Gold
ATLANTA (AP) _ The defending champion missed the show, so David Douillet of France put one opponent in the hospital and beat an Olympic runner-up on his way to the gold medal in men’s heavyweight judo Saturday.
Douillett, who has won three world titles since 1993, downed Ernesto Perez of Spain for the championship.
China’s Sun Fuming won the women’s heavyweight gold, beating Cuban Estela Rodriguez.
The competition received an early jolt when the defending men’s heavyweight champion, David Khakhaleichvili of Georgia, was disqualified for failing to show up for his weigh-in.
He was to face Alexandru Lungu of Romania. But a mixup over the location of the weigh-in and subsequent security delays held up Khakhaleichvili until it was too late, and International Judo Federation officials ordered him to forfeit.
Without Khakhaleichvili around, it became easier for Douillet. The Frenchman was the first non-Japanese athlete to capture both the heavyweight and open events at the World Judo Championships last year.
In an early round match, Douillet’s heavy drop of Eric Kreiger sent the Austrian to the hospital with a possible cervical fracture and his neck in a brace. Dr. David Dougal of the medical support team said that Kreiger was conscious and alert as he was carried from the arena on a stretcher.
In the semifinals, Douillett defeated Naoya Ogawa of Japan, the 1992 silver medalist, in a match between athletes with seven world championships between them _ Douillet three and Ogawa four.
After Douillet scored an early takedown, both were extremely careful and were warned for stalling, but the decision went to Douillet.
Douillet had an easier time against Perez in the final. Less than halfway into the five-minute bout, Douillet turned Perez and twisted his shoulder to the mat for victory.
Ogawa lost the match for one of the bronze medals to Germany’s Frank Mueller. Harry Van Barnveld of Belgium took the other bronze, in a sport that awards two bronze medals.