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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | JUDO

Rusty Ogasawara Bows Out Early

July 23, 1996|Times Wire Services

Out of practice after being sidelined for two months because of a hamstring injury, Liliko Ogasawara sensed she wasn't ready for the Olympics. She was right.

Ogasawara, considered the United States' best hope for a judo medal, lost twice and was knocked out of the women's middleweight division.

The gold medals went to a pair of South Koreans. Cho Min-sun captured the women's title, and Jeon Mi-young, an Olympic and world champion in a lighter division, took the men's gold.

Ogasawara, who was a silver medalist at the 1993 world championships and took a bronze last year, injured her right hamstring in training last May.

"I strained it and then I pulled it," Ogasawara said. "I was a little apprehensive going out there knowing that I had not had a normal judo practice since May."

Ogasawara opened against Claudia Zwiers of the Netherlands, the European champion whom Ogasawara had defeated in each of the last two world championships.

But Zwiers scored with takedowns and had a key reverse as Ogasawara tried for an inner leg throw to win on points.

Ogasawara then beat Wu Mei Ling of Taiwan in the repechage, but was eliminated by Wanx Xianbo of China.

Brian Olson posted the first U.S. victory in judo, winning his first-round match over Wu Kuo Hui of Taiwan in the men's middleweight division. But he was eliminated by a second-round loss to Lithuanian Algimantas Merkevicius.

* Information in sport-by-sport report on S6-7 is from Times Wire Services.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Medalists / Judo

MEN'S MIDDLEWEIGHT

Gold: Jeon Ki-young, South Korea

Silver: Armen Bagdasarov, Uzbekistan

Bronze: Mark Huizinga, Netherlands

Marko Spittka, Germany

WOMEN'S MIDDLEWEIGHT

Gold: Cho Min-sun, South Korea

Silver: Aneta Szczepanska, Poland

Bronze: Wang Xianbo, China

Claudia Zwiers, Netherlands

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