Putin Lauds ‘Brilliant’ Russian Judo Golds

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday lauded the “brilliant” performance of Russia’s judo exponents at the London Olympics, where they have won three gold medals.

Putin cheered from the stands as Tagir Khaibulaev, the 2011 world champion, beat reigning Olympic champion Naidan Tuvshinbayar of Mongolia in the men’s 100kg category final by ippon.

It was a third gold at these Games for Russia after Arsen Galstyan won the 60kg category Saturday and Mansur Isaev took gold in the 73kg.

“It’s a brilliant success, the likes of which we’ve never had in the history of Russian or Soviet sport,” Putin said.

Ivan Nifontov won bronze in the 81kg on Tuesday, adding up to four judo medals for Russia in total.

“As far as I know, before there was only was such victory, at the Moscow Olympics,” Putin said, referring to the five medals, including two golds, won by the Soviets in 1980.

Putin’s one-day trip, his first to Britain in nine years, saw the Russian leader discuss the Syrian conflict and energy cooperation with Cameron, as well as dropping in on the judo.

Putin is a judo black belt and starred in the instructional video Let’s Learn Judo With Vladimir Putin in 2008.


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