Tacoma judoka Travis Stevens lost an intense, emotional semifinal match Tuesday to the defending Olympic champion in the Men’s 81 kg division. It’s the same 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.
Stevens moves on to the consolation rounds later Tuesday, where he will compete for one of the two bronze medals awarded in judo.
Just 15 seconds into the match, action was stopped after Stevens was apparently 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.