Judoka Sergiu Toma has created history for UAE at Rio 2016 Olympics by winning a bronze medal in the men's under 81 kgs class on Tuesday.
The 29 year-old's aggression from the beginning paid off as he turned over Italian Matteo Marconcini midway through the contest to win by ippon.
Toma could not control his emotions as he delivered on his promise to win a medal for his adopted home country UAE.
It was a brilliant performance by the three-time Olympian whose career took after becoming a naturalised Emirati citizen in 2013.
Toma becomes UAE's second Olympic medallist in the history of the Games and the first in judo.
The United Arab Emirates's Sergiu Toma stands on the podium after winning the bronze medal in the men's 81 kg judo competition of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (AP)
UAE’s first ever Olympic medallist is Sheikh Ahmed bin Hasher Al Maktoum, who won gold in double trap at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Russia's Khasan Khalmurzaev who defeated Toma in the semfinals, won the gold medal after winning the final by ippon against American Travis Stevens.
Sergiu Toma, a world and European medallist in 2011 for his native Moldova, won only the second ever Olympic medal for the United Arab Emirates as he took bronze alongside world champion Takanori Nagase of Japan.
United Arab Emirates's Sergiu Toma (above) flips Italy's Matteo Marconcini during the men's 81 kg judo competition of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (AP)
Toma is one of three Moldovan judoka representing the Emirates at the Olympics.
"In Moldova it is not so possible like in the Emirates - a sport career is short," said Toma of his choice to represent the UAE.
"I want to say thank you to the UAE because they give our guys a chance to represent the UAE.
"We always believe and always did all possible to be in the top level."
Victor Scvortov reached the last 16 of the under-73kg category on Monday while Ivan Remarenco will fight in the under-100kg division on Thursday. Both won bronze medals for the UAE at the 2014 world championships.
UAE's Sergiu Toma will feature in the bronze medal contest of the men's under 81kg Judo category after being beaten by Khasan Khalmurzaev of Russia in the semifinals.
Matteo Marconcini (ITA) of Italy and Sergiu Toma (UAE) of United Arab Emirates compete. (Reuters)
After an evenly contested match during regular time in which both judokas were handed penalties, the Russian produced a spectacular throw while being thrown after 23 seconds of extra time to emerge winner by ippon.
Toma, ranked 10th in the world, held his own in the opening five minutes locking horns with the reigning European champion.
Toma was penalised early in the contest for knocking his opponent's grip off while the Russia also got a penalty
half way through the match.
Both were penalised simultaneously with 30 seconds remaining.
Tomas survived an attempted shoulder throw in the opening seconds of Golden Score before Khalmurzaev used his weight to throw Toma for a brilliant ippon win.
American Travis Stevens won the other semifinal against Avtandil Tchrikishvili (Georgia) by ippon.
Sergiu Toma is one win away from a historic medal in judo for UAE after qualifying to the semifinals in the men's under 81kg class at the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Toma beat world champion Takanori Nagase of Japan in the quarter-finals.
The UAE judoka will face Russia's Khasan Khalmurzaev in the semifinals.
UAE judoka Sergiu Toma has advanced to the last eight of the men's under 81kg weight class after defeating Brazil's Victor Penalber in the round of 16.
Toma faces Japan's faces Takanori Nagase in the last quarter-final.
UAE's Sergiu Toma won his opening match in the men's half-middleweight class (under 81kg) of Judo at the Rio Olympics on Tuesday.
Toma is through to the last 16 where he will face Brazil's Victor Penalber after defeating Germany's Stephan Marc winning on a disqualification in the round of 32.
Moldovian-born Toma is making his debut for UAE and aims to improve on his third round qualification in the men’s 81kg event at the London Games.
“In the last Olympic Games I came in fifth position. This time I want a medal,” said Toma, ranked 10th in the International Judo federation rankings.
Remarenco, who won a bronze for the UAE at the 2014 World Judo Championships, is also looking forward to improve his first-round finish in London.
UAE opened their quest for an Olympic medal in judo when Victor Scvortov won his opening round of 32 bout against Ziad Mattar of Yemen in the lightweight under 63 kg weight class on Monday.
A bronze medallist at the 2014 World Championships in Chelyabinsk, Russia, 14th ranked Scvortov lived up to his billing outclassing his opponent and winning by ippon.
However, Victor was eliminated in the round of 16 by Japan's Shohei Ono, the eventual gold medallist, who dashed UAE's hope for a medal in this event.
UAE sent a 13-member delegation for the XXX1 Olympiad.
Cyclist Yousif Mirza was first off the blocks for UAE on Saturday morning in the Road Race.
However, the top Asian cyclist, was involved in a pile-up with a pack of riders after 30km.
Yaqoob Al Saadi was the second athlete to compete in Rio when he made a splash in the 100m backstroke.
Al Saadi, 20, finished fifth out of seven swimmers in his heat clocking 59.58 seconds.
UAE have sent a three-member Judo team to the Olympics for the first time.
Remarenco launches his campaign on Thursday.
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