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Judoka Beslan Mudranov wins first gold for Russia at Rio Olympics

August 06, 22:55 updated at: August 07, 7:41 UTC+3
The 30-year-old Russian athlete defeated Yeldos Smetov (Kazakhstan), who became a silver medalist
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

RIO DE JANEIRO, August 7. /TASS/. Russian judoka Beslan Mudranov bagged a gold medal in the Men -60kg Final at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, winning first gold for Russia’s national team.

The 30-year-old Russian athlete defeated Yeldos Smetov (Kazakhstan), who became a silver medalist.

Mudranov is a silver medalist in the 2014 World Judo Championship. He won two gold medals in the European Judo Championships in 2012 and 2014, and in the 2015 European Games in Baku.

Mudranov was born in Kabardino-Balkaria. He began practicing wrestling at the age of 13 but later switched to Sambo (a Russian martial art). In 2007 he became a silver medalist in the World Sambo Championship’s Men’s 52kg category. Later after taking up judo, he won a champion title in 2008 Russian Judo Championship.

In 2012 Russian judokas won first gold medals for the country at the Olympics in London.

No jitters prior to Olympic final

Beslan Mudranov told journalists he had not been in a twit prior to the Olympic final in Rio.

"I am very pleased that I have won the first gold medal. Everybody knows what the situation had been. I am sure that this gold medal is not the last. I did not have the jitters, I was calm and determined. If you are nervous, nothing will come of it. The state of mind is the most important thing," the Russian judoka said.

He also noted that his rival in the final had used a new tactics against him. "I used to fight against him before but today he started in an unusual style. I could not understand what to do and I had to readjust myself," Mudranov said.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko has praised Mudranov for his victory.

Russian judo fighter Mudranov has shown his fellow-athletes how they should "gnaw out" Olympic gold medals in Rio, Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told TASS.

"Judo is everything we have! Congratulations with all my heart! He is so handsome. He was calm when he fought. He endured so much. This is how one should gnaw out gold. No one will give anything to you in a different way. I hope it (the victory) will inspire the whole team," Mutko said.

"Well done! It was an impressive final and such a good victory. Everything is possible if a person really wants something. I am congratulating him, his coach and his native city of Armavir," the Russian sports minister told TASS.

Mudranov’s gold is Russia’s reply to ill-wishers

Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov has congratulated Beslan Mudranov on his first Olympic gold medal. "I am very pleased that a Russian judoka won the first gold medal on the first day of competitions," Zhukov said at the Russian Olympic Fan’s House in Rio de Janeiro.

"Of course, this (victory - TASS) is our reply to all the ill-wishers. What we need is a psychological switchover. All sorts of things had been said: that only 40 (Russian) athletes will compete in Rio de Janeiro and that the Russian delegation was given a cool welcome at the opening ceremony. All this is our ill-wishers’ tales," Zhukov said.

"Yesterday, I walked together with our athletes at the opening ceremony. We talked to athletes from various countries. Everybody welcomed us warmly. Athletes have good and friendly relations with each other. They also greeted us," Zhukov stressed.

"I am very pleased that I have won the first gold medal. Everybody knows what the situation had been. I am sure that this gold medal is not the last. I did not have the jitters. I was calm and determined. If you are nervous, nothing will come of it. The state of mind is the most important thing," the Russian judoka said.

He also noted that his rival in the final had used a new tactics against him. "I used to fight against him before but today he started in an unusual style. I could not understand what to do and I had to readjust myself," Mudranov said.

"The Karbadians are even better than the Japanese"

The victory of Russian judoka Beslan Mudranov in the under 60 kg weight category, the first for the Russian national squad, will not be the last, Khasanbi Taov, the head coach of the Russian wrestling team, told TASS.

"We remember very well how Russian President Vladimir Putin once told a news conference that the Karbadians are even better than the Japanese," Taov said.

"Putin loves judo and cheers for it. I think that the president will be pleased with Beslan’s victory. I am sure that our wrestlers will continue performing well. The team is very well trained," Taov said.

"Mudranov demonstrated his best qualities"

In turn the head of the European Judo Union Sergei Soloveichik said that Russia’s judoka Beslan Mudranov who won the first gold medal for Russia on the first day of Olympic competitions in Rio had demonstrated his best qualities.

"Mudranov demonstrated his best qualities. Those were the main competitions in his life. He fairly won his gold medal. I am proud of my country. I am happy that the judokas have opened the score for gold medals," Soloveichik said.

Plans to compete at Olympics in Tokyo

Beslan Mudranov is planning to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo (Japan), the athlete’s personal coach Rudolf Baboyan told TASS.

"Beslan is in the peak of his career. He is extremely responsible for what he does. I literally have to kick him out of the gym," Baboyan said adding he sometimes advises Beslan to have a rest and learn to do some shirking.

"He has the spirit, the potentials and the motivation. I have no doubt he will compete at the Olympic Games in Tokyo," Baboyan stressed.

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