Dartanyon Crockett 90Kg takes bronze at the 2012 London Paralympics

By Ernest Pund | Sept. 01, 2012, 5:48 p.m. (ET)


September 1, 2012— On his first shot at the Paralympic Games, Team USA’s Dartanyon Crockett took the Bronze Medal today in London, defeating Oleg Kretsul, from Russia, the former 2008 Beijing champion.

Crockett started the day in London with a victory against French opponent Oliver Cugnon De Sevricourt, bronze medalist from the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Crockett lost his second match, against Samuel Ingram of Great Britain, but he was nowhere near finished. Crockett returned to the mats with wild determination in the repechage rounds, first dominating Brazil’s Roberto Santos and then slamming Russia’s Oleg Kretsul with a punishing ouchi gari for the match and bronze medal.

Watching Crockett fight, “I thought I was going to have a heart attack,” said Scott Moore, head coach of the U.S. Paralympic Judo Team in London. 

Crockett “played a very, very smart match” in his second-to-last round against the Brazilian in repechage, Moore said. “Dartanyon was the aggressor,” throwing his Brazilian opponent, Roberto Santos, “with drop seoi nage for a half-point wazari.”

The strategy then, said Moore, was for Crockett to avoid attacks that would give the Brazilian something to counter for a score. Crockett then got his opponent on the ground, pinning the Santos for a second wazari, giving him a full-point ippon and the match.

That put Crockett in the Bronze Medal match against Oleg Kretsul of Russia. Crockett dominated, catching his opponent with a huge ouchi gari to slam Kretsul for ippon and the victory to take the bronze at his first Paralympic Games.

“Whoever would have thought than on his first trip to the Paralympic Games that he’d make it to bronze round? I am extremely proud of Dartanyon,” Moore said.

By Ernest Pund, USA Judo Communications