Last Updated: Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:26 pm (KSA) 09:26 am (GMT)

Algerian claims first Arab medal in Beijing

Haddad, middle, beat Kaliyeva of Kazakhstan for the bronze
Haddad, middle, beat Kaliyeva of Kazakhstan for the bronze

Algeria's Soraya Haddad on Sunday kicked off the Arab quest for Olympic glory in Beijing, winning the bronze in the judo women's -52kg final, creating history as winner of the first ever Olympic judo medal for an African woman.

Haddad beat Shulpan Kaliyeva of Kazakhstan for bronze with Japan's Misato Nakamura claiming the second bronze medal.

The 23-year old Haddad, who hails from Algeria's Berber community, was born on Sept. 30, 1984. She is 1.55 meters tall and weighs 52 kgs.

Reigning champion Xian Dongmei of China retained her title on the second day of the Olympic judo competition in Beijing.

Veteran Xian, making her comeback following motherhood, defeated North Korean An Kum Ae in the judo women's -52kg final in her first global tournament since victory in Athens four years ago.

She produced a move of inspirational originality to knock out Haddad in the semi-finals, spinning under her opponent's arm before rotating her onto her back.

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