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Judo at the 2000 Sydney Summer Games:

Women's Half-Lightweight

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Host City: Sydney, Australia
Venue(s): Sydney Exhibition Centre, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, New South Wales
Date Started: September 17, 2000
Date Finished: September 17, 2000
Format: Two single-elimination pools, with winner of each pool advanced to the final. All judoka losing to the finalists in each pool advanced to repêchage pools, with the winners of the repêchage pools earning bronze medals.

Gold: CUB Legna Verdecia
Silver: JPN Noriko Sugawara-Narazaki
Bronze: PRK Kye Sun-Hui
CHN Liu Yuxiang


This class began without one highly considered judoka. Britain’s Debbie Allan had been the 1999 European Champion. But at the weigh-in she was found to be 400 gm. (14 oz.) overweight. The scales were noted to have been tampered with, so Allan was allowed to re-weigh. She had an hour to lose the weight. She cut her hair off, and stripped naked, but was still found to be 50 gm. (1.8 oz.) overweight and was disqualified. The British protested vociferously which almost led to the British team being disqualified as a group. The tournament would go according to form, however, with the finalists the same as those who met at the 1999 World Championship final. There [Noriko Sugawara-Narazaki] (JPN) had defeated Cuba’s [Legna Verdecia]. But this time Verdecia, who had been the 1993 World Champion, threw Sugawara-Narazaki with seoi-otoshi at 2:19 to win the gold medal. One of the bronze medalists was [Kye Sun-Hui] of North Korea. She had won a gold medal in the 1996 extra-lightweight over Japan’s [Ryoko Tamura], which was a huge upset. But in the interim she had become one of the best female judoka in the world. Wallechinsky described the unusual support she received in Sydney, “Kye was cheered on by hundreds of South Korean fans, who, in the spirit of solidarity, sang traditional North Korean songs in her honor.”

View a Phase of this EventFinal StandingsFinal RoundPool APool B

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Legna Verdecia 27 Cuba CUB Gold
2 Noriko Sugawara-Narazaki 27 Japan JPN Silver
3T Kye Sun-Hui 21 North Korea PRK Bronze
3T Liu Yuxiang 24 China CHN Bronze
5T Deborah Gravenstijn 26 Netherlands NED
5T Ioana Dinea-Aluaș 25 Romania ROU
7T Miren León 25 Spain ESP
7T Salima Souakri 25 Algeria ALG
9T Carolina Mariani 28 Argentina ARG
9T Lourembam Brojeshori Devi 19 India IND
9T Luce Baillargeon 23 Canada CAN
9T Rebecca Sullivan 28 Australia AUS
13T Hillary Wolf 23 United States USA
13T Jang Jae-Sim 20 South Korea KOR
AC Arijana Jaha 21 Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH
AC Inge Clement 23 Belgium BEL
AC Isabelle Schmutz 29 Switzerland SUI
AC Jackelin Díaz 22 Venezuela VEN
AC Judith Esseng Abolo 21 Cameroon CMR
AC Laetitia Tignola 28 France FRA
AC Naina Cecilia Ravaoarisoa 24 Madagascar MAD
AC Shih Pei-Chun 20 Chinese Taipei TPE
AC Ulrike Kaiser 22 Liechtenstein LIE