London – GBR, August 2, 2012: Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and David Cameron, British Prime Minister, were in ExCel to witness an incredible display of judo on the sixth day of the 2012 Olympic Games.
Mr. Putin, who is also Honorary President of the International Judo Federation (IJF), congratulated the Russian men’s team and Tagir Khaibulaev, who won the gold medal for Russia in the -100kgs. This was Russia’s third gold medal of the judo and fourth in total.
IJF President Mr. Marius Vizer, who welcomed both Mr. Putin and Mr. Cameron, said: “It was a big celebration for judo. The biggest leader in the World – Mr. Vladimir Putin – aswell as the British Prime Minister David Cameron, were with us for more than three hours. It was one of the best days of judo here in London.”
Mr. Putin, who started judo when he was 11 and is a black belt, was at an Olympics for the first time to watch judo. It was a fantastic atmosphere, with several incredible Ippons.
Kayla Harrison made history when she won the first ever judo Olympic gold medal for the USA. In the final she defeated Gemma Gibbons of Great Britain, who had been in fine form all day. Her silver medal was the first British medal in Olympic judo since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Gibbons had the honour of being congratulated by Mr. Cameron after the contest.
“We had a very high quality of judo, with lots of ippons and spectacular victories,” added Mr. Vizer., “and we had representatives in the finals of both Great Britain and Russia.
“The emotion was very high and all the fights of the final block were just incredible. Our guests, as well as the entire audience was involved in an enthusiastic atmosphere, which ended like fireworks.” —- IJF