Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Palace of Sports, Central Lenin Stadium Area, Moskva
Date Started: July 30, 1980
Date Finished: July 30, 1980
Format: Two single-elimination pools, with winner of each pool advanced to the final. All judoka losing to the winner of each pool advanced to repêchage pools, with the winners of the repêchage pools earning bronze medals.
|Bronze:|| Ravdangiin Davaadalai
Great Britain’s Neil Adams had won the European Championship at half-middleweight earlier in the year. But he was also bronze medalist in lightweight at the 1979 World Championships. When he dropped back to lightweight for the Olympics, he assumed the favorite’s role in the absence of Japanese World Champion, Kiyoto Katsuki. He was expected to be challenged by Italy’s Ezio Gamba, runner-up at the 1979 Worlds, who was a soldier in the Italian Army. Italy did not boycott Moskva, but their soldiers were forbidden to compete. So Gamba dropped out of the Army and travelled to Moskva on his own, the only Italian judo player in 1980. In the early rounds, Adams looked unbeatable, winning all his matches by ippon. Gamba was less impressive but came thru to the final. The final was extremely close, but at the 7-minute limit, the referee called for hantei and both judges raised the white flag, indicating Gamba, who won the gold medal.
|2||Neil Adams||21||Great Britain||GBR||Silver|
|3T||Karl-Heinz Lehmann||23||East Germany||GDR||Bronze|
|7T||Kim Byong-Gun||24||North Korea||PRK|
|12T||Tamaz Namgalauri||22||Soviet Union||URS|
|19T||Djillali Ben Brahim||27||Algeria||ALG|
|19T||Manuel Chavez||Costa Rica||CRC|