LONDON—Armenian athlete Arsen Galstyan secured Russia’s first Olympic gold in the 60-kilogram judo competition on July 28. It was also Russia first Olympic gold in judo since the break-up of the Soviet Union.
In the semi-final and final rounds, Galstyan defeated double world champion Rishod Sobirov (Uzbekistan) and Hiroaki Hiraoka (Japan), respectively.
Commentators deemed Galstyan’s victory a surprise, as he is ranked number five in the world.
He had won the bronze medal in the most recent judo world championships.
Galstyan was born in Armenia on Feb. 19, 1989. The 5’7’’ (170 cm) athlete is coached by Igor Romanov. He sometimes trains with his two brothers, Arman and Tigran.
“When I have nobody to train with, I [recruit] one of my brothers. It seems to me that my victories give them additional stimulation to train and win,” he told Judolinda.ru in an interview published last year.