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Uriarte Keen to End Spain's Judo Medal Drought in Rio

  • Reuters

FILE - South Korea's Cho Jun-ho, left, throws Spain's Sugoi Uriarte in the men's 66 kg bronze medal match in during their judo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012, in London.

FILE - South Korea's Cho Jun-ho, left, throws Spain's Sugoi Uriarte in the men's 66 kg bronze medal match in during their judo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 29, 2012, in London.

Spanish judoka Sugoi Uriarte is "hungry for revenge" as he sets sight on reaching the podium in Rio in the half-lightweight class after narrowly missing out on an Olympic medal in London four years ago.

The 32-year-old suffered a major disappointment at the 2012 Games where the bronze medal went to Korean Cho Jun-ho after the contest between the two remained deadlocked after five minutes of regulation and three minutes of sudden-death 'golden score' period.

"To be fifth in London was a bad experience," Uriarte told reporters in Rio. "I'm hungry for revenge."

A silver medallist at the 2009 World Championships and European Champion in 2010, Uriarte is ready to deliver.

"This is the right time," he said. "The day of the competition I want to give it all, that there is nothing left on the tatami."

Spain have not won an Olympic medal in judo since Isabel Fernandez won gold at the lightweight division in Sidney in 2000.

Despite being the only member of Spain's judo team with prior Olympic experience, Uriarte is confident the long drought for a medal in judo will end in Rio.

"The five of us, each one on their level, are very good competitors and I think any of us could take a medal," Uriarte said. "I couldn't tell you who will, because all of us hope to reach the top."

Uriarte starts the competition on Aug. 6 while his wife, Laura Gomez, will make her Olympic debut in the women's half-lightweight category on Aug. 7.

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