Putin celebrates as Khaibulaev wins gold

LONDON Fri Aug 3, 2012 12:09am IST

Gold medallist Russia's Tagir Khaibulaev celebrates with silver medallist Mongolia's Tuvshinbayar Naidan (L) anad bronze medallists Germany's Dimitri Peters (2nd R) and Netherlands' Henk Grol (R) during the awards ceremony for the men's -100kg final judo competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games August 2, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Staples

Gold medallist Russia's Tagir Khaibulaev celebrates with silver medallist Mongolia's Tuvshinbayar Naidan (L) anad bronze medallists Germany's Dimitri Peters (2nd R) and Netherlands' Henk Grol (R) during the awards ceremony for the men's -100kg final judo competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games August 2, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Darren Staples

LONDON (Reuters) - Tagir Khaibulaev won Russia's third judo gold medal in London in the men's -100kg on Thursday, thrilling Russia's black belt president, Vladimir Putin, w h o leapt from his seat with his arms raised in celebration.

The world champion, 28, who has not lost an international match since August last year, defeated the champion of four years ago, Mongolia's Tuvshinbayar Naidan, who left the arena at London's ExCel Centre on a stretcher, with an automatic winning ippon throw.

Khaibulaev , a native of the mainly Muslim southern Russian region of Dagestan, praised Russia's most powerful man for his support.

"He (Putin) said to me thank you for the victory," Khaibulaev told reporters as he walked out, still gleaming after his encounter with Putin.

"He has been cheering for us for four years now and he really cares for the sport. I am so happy I managed to make him happy," he said.

Khaibulaev only reached the final after a tight contest with Germany's Dimitri Peters was decided by judges after it finished scoreless.

"The German was very tough," he said.

Earlier on the other top seeds fell early with world number one Kazakh Maxim Rakov losing in the first round to outsider Elmar Gasimov of Azerbaijan, Japan's Takamasa Anai, the 2010 world champion, ousted in the last 16 and Henk Grol of Netherlands vanquished in the quarter-finals.

Grol came back to beat 34-year-old South Korean Hwang Hee-Tae to win a bronze to add to the one he got in Beijing in 2008, delighting a huge Dutch contingent in the crowd.

Germany's Peters, 28, took the other bronze beating Uzbek Ramziddin Sayidov, the reigning Asian champion.

(Reporting by Michael Holden and Maria Golovnina, Editing by Nigel Hunt)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Tennis

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Injury Woes

Injury Woes

Barca's Neymar and Alba out for up to a month.  Full Article 

Wage Issue

Wage Issue

Formula One drivers in talks to resolve pay disputes.  Full Article 

Title Hopes

Title Hopes

Battered Barca in La Liga last-chance saloon.  Full Article 

NBA Preview

NBA Preview

Heat playoff run could decide James' future in Miami.  Full Article 

Serie A Title

Serie A Title

Juventus count down to title and securing Conte.  Full Article 

League Leaders

League Leaders

Liverpool fans need to stay calm for run-in, says Suarez.  Full Article 

World Cup Worries

World Cup Worries

Workers at Olympic venue end strike but issue pay talks warning.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage