Mudranov, Pareto bag golds

Russia's Beslan Mudranov took gold in the men's 60-kilogram division, beating Kazakhstan's Yeldos Smetov on a golden score.


Beslan Mudranov of Russia (white) cannot hide his joy after defeating Yeldos Smetov of Kazakhstan in the judo men's 60kg.   -  Getty Images

Paula Pareto of Argentina celebrates after defeating Bokyeong Jeong of Korea in the judo women's 48kg gold medal contest.   -  Getty Images

Beslan Mudranov became Russia's first medallist of the Rio Olympics after beating Kazakhstan's Yeldos Smetov in a judo final between representatives of two countries recently buffeted by doping scandals.

Mudranov took gold in the men's 60-kilogram division, beating Smetov on a golden score.

Russia is competing in Rio with a team diminished by doping scandals and bans, particularly in track and weightlifting. Neighbouring Kazakhstan faces losing five weightlifting gold medals from the 2008 and 2012 Olympics after its champions' drug test samples were retested and found to contain steroids.

Japan's Naohisa Takato and Uzbekistan's Diyorbek Urozboev took the bronze medals in the 60kg division.

Earlier the first judo gold medal of the Olympic Games went to Argentina's Paula Pareto, a former bronze medallist from the Beijing Games and now a qualified doctor.

The third-ranked Pareto jumped repeatedly in victory when she defeated South Korea's Bokyeong Jeong in the women's 48-kilogram division, much to the delight of a crowd packed with Argentinians waving their national flag. Pareto climbed into the crowds afterwards to be enveloped not only by giddy fans, but numerous flags.

After hugging one particularly patriotic fan whose face was painted in blue and white, Pareto was left with faint traces of blue paint on the right side of her face.

The two bronze medals went to Japan's Ami Kondo and Kazakhstan's Otgontsetseg Galbadrakh.

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