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Swedish wrestler throws away Olympic medal

  • Story Highlights
  • Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian throws away bronze medal in disgust
  • China's Zhang Juanjuan breaks South Korean dominance in women's archery
  • Zhang defeats defending champion Park Sung-Hyun 110-109 in a tense final
  • Heavy rain disrupts Olympic program with rowing and canoeing all washed out
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(CNN) -- Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian threw away the bronze medal he won in the Greco-Roman category in disgust in a protest over judging in his semifinal bout.

Abrahamian places his medal on the competition mat in protest at a judging decision.

Abrahamian was beaten in the 84 kg class by eventual gold medal winner Andrea Minguzzi of Italy but was furious with the verdict, shouting at the referee before confronting the judges.

The Athens silver medal winner had to be restrained by teammates and later went on to win a bronze medal match.

But the row continued at the medal ceremony as he only grudgingly mounted the podium and after receiving his medal made a point of taking it off and leaving it in the center of the competition mat.

Swedish fans in the arena disagreed strongly with the original decision, jeering the judges, while coach Leo Myllari also weighed in.

"It's all politics," he said.

The medal was later returned to the sport's governing body.

In archery, China's Zhang Juanjuan has broken one of the Olympics' tightest strangleholds by upsetting South Korea's defending champion Park Sung-Hyun to win the women's individual gold medal.

Korean women archers have won every Olympic gold since Seo Hyang-Soon first took the title at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

But roared on by a passionate home crowd, Zhang beat Park 110-109 in a tense final on a rain-swept course for a famous victory.

The bronze went to second seed Yun Ok-Hee, also of South Korea, who was desperate to win a medal for her coach Moon Hyung-Cgul who is fighting thyroid cancer.

Zhang beat all three South Koreans on her way to the title, setting a new Olympic record of 115 in her semifinal victory over world record holder Yun.

"I have won this honor for all archers in China and I believe the future will be brighter," said Zhang. "I dreamed I could win a gold medal every day. I was well prepared. It was a hard journey but I finally made it."

Zhang needed to shoot a nine on her final arrow to win, but said she never doubted she could do it. "I was quite confident," she said. "I shot the last arrow with no hesitation because I was confident."

South Korea had earlier won both the men's and women's team gold medals.

There was another gold for the host nation in the judo hall when Yang Xiuli won the women's 78kg competition -- China's second judo gold.

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Yang beat Cuban Yalennis Castillo by a contentious judges' decision in the final -- following 10 minutes of gruelling combat.

The pair fought to a 1-1 draw at the end of the regulation five minutes, then traded ineffective throws to force a judges' decision, which Yang won amid roaring cheers from the home-country crowd.

South Korean Jeong Gyeong Mi claimed bronze as she threw and then pinned down Brazil's Edinaci Silva. Frenchwoman Stephanie Possamai recorded her first victory in four attempts against Spanish veteran Esther San Miguel to win the other bronze medal.

Naidan Tuvshinbayar won Mongolia's first ever Olympic gold medal when claiming the men's 100kg title. In the final, Naidan beat Askhat Zhitkeyev, for whom the consolation was winning Kazakhstan's first-ever Olympic medal in the sport.

Naidan, who upset Athen's Olympic champion Keiji Suzuki of Japan in his opening bout, scored a waza ari with just under two minutes remaining, then added two yuko to seal the victory

Azerbaijani fighter Movlud Miraliev took bronze by beating Poland's Przemyslaw Matyaszek, before celebrating with an impressive backflip, while European champion Henk Grol of the Netherlands also claimed bronze, beating Georgian Levan Zhorzholiani.

Meanwhile, Chiara Cainero of Italy won the gold medal in women's skeet shooting, beating American Kim Rhode and Christine Brinker of Germany in a shoot-off.

The three finished tied on 93 targets -- and Cainero hit the first two targets of the shoot-off, with Rhode and Brinker each missing one. The shoot-off continued to determine second place, with Rhode prevailing.

Cainero led after qualifying with a score of 72, but she hit only 21 of 25 targets in the final round, enabling Rhode and Brinker to catch up. Rhode won gold in double trap in 1996 and 2004, but that event was eliminated for women before the Beijing Games.

China's Du Li rebounded from her defeat in the first medal competition of the Games, to win gold in the women's 50-meter, three-position rifle event.

Du led by one point entering the finals and shot a 101.3 to win with an Olympic record 690.3 points. Silver medalist Katerina Emmons finished with 687.7 points, while Cuba's Eglis Yaima Cruz got the bronze.

The victory will ease the disappointment of Du's performance in the 10-meter air rifle event, when she was a favorite to claim the honor of winning the first gold medal in Beijing but flopped to finish fifth behind Czech Emmons, admitting the pressure of competing at home got to her.

The host nation suffered a rare disappointment when the Chinese trio lost to Ukraine in the final of the women's team saber fencing.

Olga Kharlan scored nine of the bout's last 13 points, leading the Ukrainian team to a surprise 45-44 victory over the China

Ukraine trailed 40-36 when Kharlan entered the strip for the final round against China's Tan Xue. The first team to 45 points wins and, after Kharlan rallied to a 44-all tie, everything was riding on the final point.

After both fencers attacked, the official checked video replay but awarded neither athlete a point. Kharlan then scored the winning touch to complete a remarkable comeback.

In team fencing, three fencers for each team rotate over nine rounds. In her last two rounds, Kharlan outscored her opponents 21-9.

China settled for the silver medal, and the United States took the bronze. The U.S. featured all three individual medalists in women's saber but were upset by Ukraine in the semifinals.

Heavy rain disrupted much of Thursday's action and there was no action possible in either the rowing or canoeing events.

At the Shunyi Rowing-Canoeing Park, the entire schedule was shifted to Friday, which was to be an off-day for the rowers.

The rain also washed out Thursday's canoe-kayak events, including the semifinals and the final of the women's kayak singles and the men's canoe double final. The schedule has also been moved to Friday, when no competition was scheduled.

Following the completion of all Thursday's medal events, China lead the way witha massive 22 gold medals. The United States have 10, while South Korea, Italy and Germany all have six.

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