Tacoma judoka Travis Stevens lost an intense semifinal match Tuesday to the defending Olympic champion in the Men’s 81 kg division, then lost again in the bronze medal match.
The single point scored by Canada's Antoine Valois-Fortier against Stevens was all he needed to win one of the two bronze medals awarded in judo.
Stevens walked out of the arena, clearly emotional, with his coach consoling him.
That consolation match for Stevens came less than an hour after a drama-filled semifinal match with the man he lost to four years ago in Beijing. Judges awarded the match to Germany’s Ole Bischof after the pair failed to score on each other in the five minute regulation period or three minute, sudden-death overtime called the Golden Score.
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Just 15 seconds into the semifinal, action was stopped after Stevens was bleeding from his forehead. While the bleeding was minor, a Team USA doctor had to put a bandage on Stevens’ head before the match was allowed to resume.
About 1:15 later, the heated rivalry between these two took on more of a heavyweight boxing match feel. They went into a nose-to-nose stare down and had to be separated.
A couple minutes later, more bleeding forced the referee to stop the match again. The USA doctor wrapped more tape around Stevens’ head, nose and cheek, making him look reminiscent of The Mummy.
Stevens appeared to get a good takedown of Bischof in the Golden Score period, but both men were out of bounds.
Finally, when the overtime was over, the referee raised the flag signaling Bischof the winner.
Stevens immediately dropped to his knees and put his head to the mat, dejected for the second time by the same man. Bischof raised his arms in victory.
Both men shook hands, then Stevens left the mat with his head hung low.
Kim Jae-bum of South Korea defeated Bischof in the final.
Ivan Nifontov of Russia won the other bronze.
In the earlier rounds, Stevens defeated Aljaz Sedej of Slovenia, Avtandil Tchrikishvili of Georgia and Leandro Guilheiro of Brazil.