Greece got its first medal in the 30th Olympic Games on Wednesday as Ilias Iliadis landed bronze in judo’s -90 kg category.
The 2004 Olympic gold medalist was among the favorites for gold in his category, but lost in the quarterfinal to Russia’s Kirill Denisov.
He went on to emerge from the repechage process, beating his Australian opponent Marc Anthony with his trademark ippon, and then defeated Brazil’s Tiago Camilo in the bronze-medal match with a 1-0 score to win his second Olympic medal at the age of 26.
The Greek judoka, who was also Greece’s flagbearer in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, dedicated his medal to his son, Iraklis.
“First I want to thank God for helping me, my family and my coach here, and all the squad who supported me and believed in me.
“It was tremendous indeed and I still cannot believe it. It was as difficult today as winning the gold medal in 2004, because in the bronze-medal match the pressure was great, as a loss would mean no medal for me,» Iliadis told state radio ERA Sport immediately after his triumph over the Brazilian.