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Legends of judo: David Douillet

Instead, it was judoka David Douillet who, having collected his second Olympic gold medal in Sydney, was topped “Champion des champions Francais” by publication L’Equipe — forward of the nationwide soccer crew’s talisman.

That Olympic title was Douillet’s final main triumph in a glittering profession. The heavyweight received medals at three Olympic Games — gold additionally in Atlanta and bronze in Barcelona — and 4 World Championship titles, most notably in 1995 when he claimed each the heavyweight and open courses in Chiba, Japan, a feat solely beforehand matched by Japanese fighters Yasuhiro Yamashita and Naoya Ogawa.

Standing 1.96 meters tall and weighing in at 125kg, Douillet was a formidable presence on the tatami.

He burst onto the scene as a 22-year-old on the 1992 Olympics, defeating Cuba’s Franck Moreno Garcia within the bronze medal match. He would go on to turn out to be France’s first heavyweight world champion the next 12 months when he was victorious in Canada.

After securing his historic double in Chiba, Douillet went to the Olympic Games in Atlanta with a repute as one of the game’s most feared forces. The Frenchman duly delivered, overturning Ernesto Pérez within the closing to say his first Olympic gold.

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The journey behind Douillet’s gold medal in Sydney was removed from easy, virtually from the second he had received in Atlanta.

The Frenchman was significantly injured in a motorbike accident in 1996 and compelled into eight months of rehab, one thing he mentioned helped “rekindle his desire” to return to the mat stronger.

And he did, defeating Japan’s Shinichi Shinohara on the 1997 world championships, a victory made even sweeter in entrance of residence crowds in Paris.

He carried the load of a nation into the Sydney Olympics. As France’s flag-bearer, this was Douillet’s closing likelihood so as to add to his illustrious medal assortment after a 15-month harm absence.

As he battled his technique to the ultimate, it was as soon as once more Shinohara who he met in a title-deciding combat, and, regardless of the Japanese athlete’s protestations over judges’ rulings, it was Douillet who was topped champion after 5 minutes of combating.

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