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Judo at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Men's Half-Lightweight

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Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium, Beijing
Date Started: August 10, 2008
Date Finished: August 10, 2008
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: JPN Masato Uchishiba
Silver: FRA Benjamin Darbelet
Bronze: CUB Yordanis Arencibia
PRK Pak Chol-Min


[João Nunes Júnior] (BRA) had won the last two World Championships but he was upset in his second match by Portugal’s [Pedro Dias]. The defending gold medalist was Japan’s [Masato Uchishiba], who had been runner-up at the 2005 Worlds. He made it to the final, where he faced France’s [Benjamin Darbelet], who was 2003 European Champion and had won five medals at the Europeans. Uchishiba defended his gold medal with ippon in 1:08, and then commented, “I don't remember how I won the game. Naturally, my body moved and I put in all my effort. My judo style is aggressive so I just fight with what I have.” Cuba's [Yordanis Arencibia], silver medalist at the 2007 Worlds, claimed his second consecutive Olympic bronze medal after throwing [Alim Gadanov] of Russia for a yuko.

Uchishiba's aggressive style was not always limited to the judo mats. In February 2013 he was convicted of raping a student he had been coaching. The incident occurred in 2011 and Uchishiba maintained that it was consensual sex, but the court ruled that he had assaulted her while she was asleep and he was sentenced to five years in prison.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Masato Uchishiba 30 Japan JPN Gold
2 Benjamin Darbelet 27 France FRA Silver
3T Yordanis Arencibia 28 Cuba CUB Bronze
3T Pak Chol-Min 25 North Korea PRK Bronze
5T Alim Gadanov 24 Russia RUS
5T Mirali Sharipov 20 Uzbekistan UZB
7T Giovanni Casale 28 Italy ITA
7T Ameen Mohamed El-Hady 25 Egypt EGY
9T Sasha Mehmedovic 23 Canada CAN
9T Taylor Takata 26 United States USA
9T Pedro Dias 26 Portugal POR
9T Arash Miresmaeili 27 Iran IRI
13T Daniel García 23 Andorra AND
13T Rachid Rguig 27 Morocco MAR
13T Juan Carlos Jacinto 30 Dominican Republic DOM
13T Guvanch Nurmuhammedov 31 Turkmenistan TKM
17T Mounir Benamadi 26 Algeria ALG
17T João Derly 27 Brazil BRA
17T Dex Elmont 24 Netherlands NED
17T Miklós Ungvári 27 Hungary HUN
21T Tomasz Adamiec 26 Poland POL
21T Steven Brown 22 Australia AUS
21T Ramil Qasımov 26 Azerbaijan AZE
21T Roberto Ibáñez 23 Ecuador ECU
21T Zaza K'edelashvili 22 Georgia GEO
21T Kim Ju-Jin 22 South Korea KOR
21T Edson Madeira 23 Mozambique MOZ
21T Armen Nazaryan 26 Armenia ARM
21T Felipe Novoa 24 Chile CHI
21T Ludwing Ortíz 32 Venezuela VEN
21T Óscar Peñas 33 Spain ESP
21T Tariel Zintiridis 20 Greece GRE
33 Wu Ritubilige 20 China CHN