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Friday, 22 September, 2000, 14:45 GMT 15:45 UK
Furious Japanese claim French judo foul
The Olympic judo tournament ended in uproar after Frenchman David Douillet won a controversial victory in the over-100kg final.
The Japanese team was enraged by his victory over Shinichi Shinohara, after a scoring dispute 90 seconds into the final.
Japanese head coach Yasuhiro Yamashita, an Olympic champion himself in Los Angeles in 1984, led the protests over Shinohara's defeat.
Yamashita was furious that Shinohara had not been awarded a perfect Ippon score early in the final when Douillet was awarded a small score that proved decisive.
The dispute arose from a throw that Douillet began before over-rotating and landing on his back as both fighters fell to the mat.
Shinohara had not actually instigated the technique and, although one judge raised his arm to indicate an Ippon for the Japanese, he was over-ruled by the other two and the score went Douillet's way.
Legendary heavyweight Yamashita protested the result to Jim Kojima, the chief technical delegate of the International Judo Federation (IJF).
Kojima, a Canadian, was heard telling Yamashita: "I knew it."
A frustrated Yamashita, knowing the decision was irreversible, continued to demand of Kojima that "the record should be set straight".
Douillet's long-term back injury had put his participation in the Olympics in doubt, and he had long ago vowed to retire after the Games.
But while Douillet felt on top of the world with the perfect retirement present, Shinohara was inconsolable and cried throughout the medal ceremony.
It was the second straight time a match involving Shinohara and Douillet HAD ended in controversy.
Douillet won their last encounter in the final of the 1997 world championship, when Shinohara was the aggressor but was slapped with a controversial penalty by a French judge.
The back injury prevented Douillet from competing at last year's world championships where Shinohara won 10 out of his 11 matches by knockout Ippon to grab both the heavyweight and open titles.
That feat put him in judo's hall of fame.
Bronze medals went to two Europeans, Tamerlan Tmenov of Russia and Indrek Pertelson of Estonia.
The women's heavyweight final was a tactical affair between Chinese world silver medallist Yuan Hua and Cuban double open-weight world champion Daima Beltran. Yuan won on a unanimous judges' decision.
Yuan was the more positive and her superior fitness and speed ensured she was usually first to the attack. Although they were both penalised for passivity towards the end of the bout, Yuan's victory was rarely in doubt.
Japan's Mayumi Yamashita and Kim Seon-young of South Korea took the bronze medals.
Kate Howey's silver medal will remain Britain's one precious return from the Sydney Olympics judo tournament after Karina Bryant lost to French tactician Christine Cicot before the quarter-finals.
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