LONDON – Masashi Nishiyama shrugged off disappointment to find his way to the podium with a bronze medal in the men’s judo 90-kg category at the London Olympics on Wednesday.
Nishiyama was hoping to give the Japanese men their first gold medal of these Summer Games with just two days left in the judo competition, but bronze was the most he could manage with his win over Russian Kirill Denisov in extra time in one of the matches for third place.
Earlier, Nishiyama, winner of four consecutive Kodokan Cup national weight-class championships, endured heartbreak in an 11-10 loss to South Korea’s Song Dae Nam, coming ever so close to reaching the round of four.
After all was done, Nishiyama was still ruing his loss in the quarterfinals, where an ippon he initially thought he had scored on Song was later downgraded to waza-ari — leaving him a point behind.
“I feel a lot of disappointment. I thought for sure that I had scored an ippon, but there’s nothing I could do after it was all over,” said Nishiyama. “I was more nervous than I thought I would be at the Olympics. I still have a way to go,” he said.