Mouloud Noura of Algeria won the first Men's Judo gold of the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games on Sunday, September 7, by defeating 2006 IBSA World Champion Saeed Rahmati (Iran) in the final of the Men's -60kg class at the Workers' Gymnasium.
The final lasted less than forty seconds as the Algerian threw Rahmati for ippon. Noura becomes the second Algerian to win Judo gold at the Paralympics, following Messaoud Nine (Algeria) who won in the -90kg in Athens 2004.
It was a dramatic conclusion to the Men's -60kg competition, with the favorites underperforming and Noura seizing his chance to win gold with three straight ippon victories.
Noura received a first round bye, and then beat Athens 2004 silver medalist Hirose Makoto (Japan) in his only preliminary round match. He overcame the 2007 IBSA World Champion and competition favorite Ramin Ibrahimov (Azerbaijan) in his semifinal.
On the way to the final, Rahmati beat Henry Borges (Uruguay) and Cuba's Sergei Perez in the preliminary rounds. In his semifinal match, Rahmati needed just five seconds to overcome China's Li Xiaodong by ippon.
Both bronze medal matches were decided by ippon in less than a minute, with Ibrahimov beating Great Britain's Ben Quilter and China's Li overcoming Said Shakhmanov (Russia).
2007 IBSA World Champion and the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games gold medalist Sergio Perez (Cuba) was eliminated in the repechage, as the years finally caught up with the aging judoka.
(BOCOG September 7, 2008)