LONDON – U.S. judoka Cynthia Paige Simon dropped two matches today to finish fifth in the women’s 57kg division on Friday at ExCel.
Simon’s first match against Spain’s Monica Merenciano Herrero, an eventual bronze medalist, ended in ippon. "It was not the outcome I wanted, but it is not over yet," she said after the first match. "I just have to keep my head in the right place."
In Judo, two bronze medals are awarded in each weight class, and Simon faced Duygu Cete of Turkey in one of those medals later on Friday. The pair fought it out for the standard five minutes and Cete was victorious when the clock ran out, besting Simon by a thrown known as Waza-ari with Ashi-guruma.
"[Simon] did really well," said U.S. coach Heidi Moore, making note that Simon only learned she would be competing in the Paralympic Games two weeks prior. (Simon replaced the Jordan Mouton, who withdrew from the Games due to injury.)
"I fought a hard match," Simon said. "Don’t worry; I will be coming back for Rio."