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Judo at the 1988 Seoul Summer Games:

Men's Middleweight

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Host City: Seoul, South Korea
Venue(s): Jangchung Gymnastium, Seoul
Date Started: September 29, 1988
Date Finished: September 29, 1988
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.

Gold: AUT Peter Seisenbacher
Silver: URS Vladimir Shestakov
Bronze: JPN Akinobu Osako
NED Ben Spijkers


Defending champion [Peter Seisenbacher] (AUT) was back, but the favorite was the 1987 World Champion, [Fabien Canu] of France. They met in the pool semi-final, but Canu was hurt by then, and offered little opposition. The pool finals matched Seisenbacher against [Akinobu Osako] (JPN), who had been the most impressive judoka in the early going, and [Vladimir Shestakov] (URS) against Holland’s [Ben Spijkers]. Seisenbacher and Shestakov were too much for their opponents and advanced to the final. Only a few months before the Olympics, Shestakov had defeated Seisenbacher at a tournament in the Soviet Union. But in Seoul, Seisenbacker outlasted Shestakov to win by yusei-gachi and become the first judoka to defend a class gold medal at the Olympics.

In the repêchage, Spijkers faced Britain’s [Densign White]. They were old friends, having first faced each other years before at the European Junior Championships. Spijkers won the match with waza-ari gasete. Per judo protocol, they quickly bowed to the judges. But against protocol, they then spontaneously walked off the mat arm-in-arm. The referee called them back to the mat, asking them to follow the judo guidelines. This time they performed the more formal bow, and began to walk off with guides, when they again embraced and walked off together. The crowd loved it and roared its approval, and this time the referee had little choice but to allow the breech of protocol.

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinal RoundPool APool B

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Peter Seisenbacher 28 Austria AUT Gold
2 Vladimir Shestakov 27 Soviet Union URS Silver
3T Ben Spijkers 27 Netherlands NED Bronze
3T Akinobu Osako 27 Japan JPN Bronze
5T Fabien Canu 28 France FRA
5T Densign White 26 Great Britain GBR
7T Chiu Heng-An 21 Chinese Taipei TPE
7T Kim Seung-Gyu 21 South Korea KOR
9T Josateki Basalusalu 33 Fiji FIJ
9T Jorge Bonnet 23 Puerto Rico PUR
11T János Gyáni 29 Hungary HUN
11T Liu Junlin 25 China CHN
13T Bill Vincent 31 New Zealand NZL
13T Odvogiin Baljinnyam 28 Mongolia MGL
13T Charles Griffith 25 Venezuela VEN
13T Georgi Petrov 34 Bulgaria BUL
13T Riad Chibani 24 Algeria ALG
13T Wálter Carmona 31 Brazil BRA
19T Sandro López 20 Argentina ARG
19T Louis Jani 30 Canada CAN
19T Bito Maduro 24 Aruba ARU
19T José António Inácio 21 Angola ANG
19T Rene Capo 27 United States USA
19T Ivan Todorov 20 Yugoslavia YUG
19T Franch Casadei 29 San Marino SMR
19T Ng Chiu Fan 26 Hong Kong HKG
19T William Medina 20 Colombia COL
19T Yousuf Al-Hammad 24 Kuwait KUW
19T West Iqiebor 23 Nigeria NGR
19T Tiberius Nyachwaya 33 Kenya KEN
19T Akilong Diabone Senegal SEN
19T James Waithe 26 Barbados BAR
33T Luc Suplis 24 Belgium BEL
33T Michael Bazynski 29 West Germany FRG
33T Eric-Louis Bessi 29 Monaco MON
33T Arnold Frick 22 Liechtenstein LIE