Buenos Aires, 14 July-2014(Reuters): Germany broke the heart of a nation on Sunday, leaving millions of…
Rafaela Silva, who grew up in Rio’s notorious City of God slum, sparked pandemonium as she won Brazil’s first gold of the Games in the women’s under-57kg judo.
Silva upset World No. 1 Sumiya Dorjsuren of Mongolia for what was a hugely welcome win for the host after apathy and protests in the run-up to South America’s first Olympics.
“It’s great for kids who are watching judo now. Seeing someone like me who left the City of God, who started judo at five years of age as a joke,” said Silva, 24, who also won the 2013 world title on home soil. “To be world champion and Olympic champion is something inexplicable.
“If these children have a dream, they have to believe it can be done. I dedicate this medal to the Brazilian people, my family, my friends.”
Portuguese fighter Telma Monteiro shared the bronze with Kaori Matsumoto of Japan, the 2012 champion
Wins gold and retires
Colombian weightlifter Oscar Figueroa struck gold and then immediately retired capping a rollercoaster few months after he was given a suspended prison sentence for car crime.
The 33-year-old, who once fled fighting by Colombian rebels, fell to his knees and burst into tears after lifting 318kg in an enthralling and emotionally-charged men’s 62kg.
Figueroa, silver medallist in London 2012 four years ago, kissed the barbell and removed his shoes to signify that he was retiring as he sobbed his eyes out for several minutes in front of an adoring Colombian crowd.
“I can’t describe how it feels right now. I’ve been lifting weights for 22 years and it’s time to retire.
“That’s why I took my shoes off,” Figueroa told reporters afterwards.
In the women’s section, Sukanya Srisurat and Pimsiri Sirikaew gave Thailand gold and silver in the 58kg class.
Fencer Yana Egorian claimed Russia’s second gold, defeating compatriot Sofiya Velikaya 15-14 a closely contested women’s sabre final on Monday.
The defeat was doubly heartbreaking for seven-time world champion Velikaya as she also missed out on gold in the final in London four years ago.
An unbeatable Australia became the first-ever Olympic champion in the women’s Rugby Sevens defeating New Zealand, its toughest rival, 24-17 in an exciting final in which the technical excellence of the Wallabies won the day.