After winning his semifinal match in the 81 kg weight class, American Travis Stevens was assured of his first Olympic medal and the first medal for an American judoka since 1992. The only question was whether the medal would be of the gold or silver variety.
Stevens lost the gold medal match to Russia’s Khasan Khalmurzaev, with Khalmurzaev winning by ippon 2:42 into the first round. Stevens, who won gold at last summer’s Pan American Games, failed to medal in both 2008 and 2012 with the latter being a defeat in the bronze medal match that kept him off the podium.
Sergiu Toma of the United Arab Emirates and Takanori Nagase of Japan won the two bronze medal matches in the 81 kg weight class. Toma’s medal is the second ever won by an athlete from the United Arab Emirates, with the first being won in 2004. His bronze is also the nation’s first-ever Olympic medal in judo.