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Olympics: Judo quarterfinal ends in controversy

South Korea's Cho Jun-ho celebrates before the decision was reversed. Photo / AP.
South Korea's Cho Jun-ho celebrates before the decision was reversed. Photo / AP.

A men's judo quarterfinal match has ended bizarrely at the London Olympics with the judging panel reversing the referee's decision, denying the initial winner a shot at a gold medal.

After a "golden score," which is a sudden death situation, South Korea's Cho Jun-ho was awarded the victory to the displeasure of the crowd.

However after a brief discussion between the judges and International Judo Federation chief Marius Vizer, whilst both fighters waited confused on the mat, the decision was overturned with Japan's Masashi Ebinuma named as the winner.

Ebinuma later conceded that he thought he had lost the match.

"There was support from the spectators and I think that allowed me to get the medal," he said, adding he felt a bit bad for Cho.

Oddly, this wasn't the first time the IJF had interfered during the contest, earlier a decisive point awarded by the referee to Ebinuma was overruled.

South Korea appealed the decision, but were not successful. Both men eventually ended up with bronze medals, as like boxing, there are two bronze medals in judo.

- HERALD ONLINE

- NZ Herald

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