2008 PARALYMPIC GAMES: De Wall Earns Bronze in Judo Finals
BEIJING, China -The last day of judo on Tuesday wrapped up competition at the Beijing Workers' Gymnasium with a bronze medal for the United States.
Greg De Wall, +100kg (Chico, Calif.) led first on mat 2 against Yargaliny Jimenez of Cuba, who won gold at the 2006 IB Judo World Championships in Brommat, France. De Wall, who won silver at the 2006 Parapan American Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, overpowered the Cuban in 41 seconds with a full ippon. As he left the mat, he shouted, "That felt great!" In his second match against Song Wang of China, De Wall lost to a clearly larger Wang who scored a waza-ari (half point), a yuko (quarter point), and a koka (eighth point) to secure the win.
In the finals, De Wall first faced Alexander Parasyuk of Russia, overpowering the Russian with an ippon. For the bronze medal, De Wall faced Korea's Jung-Min Park. Early in the match Park scored a yuko, followed by a waza-ari, but De Wall countered and scored a koka. Then, with less than a minute left, Park's face began to bleed. After the Korean's medical team tried unsuccessfully several times to stop the bleeding, the referee called the match with 12 seconds left and awarded the win to De Wall, resulting in the bronze medal.
Facing 2007 Parapan American gold medalist Maria Del Herrara of Spain for her first match, Jordan Mouton, -70kg (Houston, Texas) knew it would be a tough fight. She did, in fact, lose to an ippon, but moved forward to face Nikolett Szabo of Hungary in her second fight, when she took early control of the match but couldn't hold onto two possible pins. Szabo overcame Mouton with an ippon, ending the match and forcing Mouton out of competition.
Myles Porter, -100kg (Colorado Springs, Colo./Fremont, Ohio) faced a known opponent in Antonio Silva of Brazil, who is a three-time Paralymplic gold medalist. After Porter received a shido, or penalty, Silva scored a koka and then an ippon against Porter, who lost the match. "We know each other well," said Porter, "and he just kept blocking me." But Porter moved forward in a fight against Iran's Hamzeh Nadri, and with renewed determination, he scored a full ippon, dislocating Nadri's arm, to win the match.
"The second match felt good, and I just need to be crisp on my attacks," he said referring to his upcoming match against Bill Morgan of Canada. "Some say it's harder to fight for bronze than gold." But in the finals Porter clearly dominated the match with Morgan and scored two waza-aris, equivalent to an ippon, and won the match moving into bronze medal contention against Cuba's Juan Carlos Cortada. Again, Porter came on strong, but Cortada threw him for an ippon and won the bronze. Porter took fifth place. "I like fighting him," said Porter. "He's a good person, and I couldn't have lost to a better player."
Andre Watson, -90kg (Upper Darby, Penn.) fought hard against 2004 gold medalist Messaoud Nine of Algeria, but couldn't get his pin to stick. Watson received a shido (penalty), and was beaten with a koka. In his second match against Anatoliy Schevchenko of Ukraine, Watson was thrown for a full ippon. "I would really have liked to see Watson with a win," said assistant coach Scott Moore. "I think he could have taken Nine with more time."
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