British Prime Minister David Cameron and Russian President Vladimir Putin walked into the judo arena at the ExCel Exhibition Centre on Thursday just as U.S. medal contender Kayla Harrison was taking the mat for her semifinal match in the 78-kilogram division.
Putin, a judo black belt who made an instructional DVD about the sport, had earlier said he was attending the London Games as a private citizen to watch judo. But Cameron said he planned to use the quality time together to talk trade with the Russian leader.
Harrison apparently fights well before presidents and prime ministers because she upset Brazil's Mayra Aguiar, the world's top-ranked judoka at 78 kilograms, to reach the women's gold medal match. If she wins there, she will give the United States its first-ever Olympic title in the sport.