Switzerland's Sergei Aschwanden has made history after becoming only the third Swiss to win a medal at the world judo championships. The former European champion won a bronze medal in the under-81 kg category in Munich.
Aschwanden, who defeated Japan's Olympic champion and former world champion, Makoto Takimoto by ippon, sank to his knees following his decisive attack.
"Sergei has finally become a man," said Swiss national coach Leo Held. "This medal is all down to his incredible strength of character."
Aschwanden's medal success marks a remarkable turnaround in his fortunes at the championships. In the first round he came up against the former titleholder, Britain's Graeme Randall, and was defeated by ippon after just over a minute of combat.
But the 26-year-old Swiss went on to defeat his next four opponents before coming up against Takimoto in the battle for bronze. He now joins Eric Born (silver in 1993) and Monika Kurath (bronze in 1997) in an elite group of Swiss medal winners.
swissinfo with agencies
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