LONDON – Mika Sugimoto fell to Cuba’s Idalys Ortiz in the women’s over 78-kg final Friday, having to settle for the silver medal on the final day of the judo competition at the London Olympics.
Daiki Kamikawa’s bid, however, to save his country from disgrace after seven days without gold medals for the Japanese men ended in failure with a second-round defeat in the men’s over 100 kg.
The 27-year-old Sugimoto looked for openings against Ortiz to deploy her trademark “haraigoshi” hip throw in a cagey final, but the Cuban was wise to her tactics and attempted to counter Sugimoto’s throw whenever she moved inside.
After the extra period, the judges ruled unanimously in favor of Ortiz, who improved on her bronze-medal finish from Beijing.
“Right now, I feel disappointment. I was aiming for the gold medal,” said Sugimoto, who made her Olympic debut in London. “I was determined to win until the very end. I was excited to be able to demonstrate my abilities in judo,” she said.