Alina Alexandra Dumitru of Romania celebrates her gold-medal win in the Judo Women's 48kg by defeating Yanet Bermoy of Cuba at the Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium on day one of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 9, 2008, in Beijing, China.
Romania's Alina Alexandra Dumitru, ranked No.1 in the world, defeated Yanet Bermoy of Cuba with an ippon in 1:20 in the gold medal contest. She reached the final by defeating Athens Olympic champion Tani Ryoko of Japan in the semifinal. Dumitru dominated the extra-lightweight category in Europe with five consecutive European Championships between 2004 and 2008. She also won bronze medals at the 2005 and 2007 World Championships.
In the first bronze medal match, Paula Belen Pareto of Argentina beat Pak Ok-song of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea with a waza-ari. Belen Pareto was charged with a shido penalty earlier in the match but she scored a waza-ari in the final minute for the victory. The referee first gave the waza-ari to Pak but changed the ruling after consultation and awarded it to Belen Pareto.
Though Tani Ryoko fell short of her third consecutive Olympic gold medal, her bronze medal finish is a worthy addition to her storied career. The Japanese heroine has reached the podium in five consecutive Olympic Games dating back to 1992, when she won silver in Barcelona.
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Photography: Michael Bradley