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Fabio Basile delivers breakout performance to win 66kg judo gold

Fabio Basile
Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports

Fabio Basile delivers breakout performance to win 66kg judo gold

The Italian was ranked 29th in the world at the end of the Olympic qualification period

The men's 66kg division was full of big throws and big celebrations thanks to one big personality.

Italy's Fabio Basile earned gold in the weight class, and along the way delivered some truly inspiring performances.

Not much was expected of Basile entering the day, as he was ranked No. 29 in the world. But he quickly gained some attention for a powerful ippon delivered to his first opponent, Germany's Sebastien Seidl, in the Round of 32.

In fact, all of Basile's first three matches ended with an ippon.

The Gold Medal Match pitted Basile against the top seed in the tournament, South Korea's An Baul. Once again, the Italian was able to throw his opponent for an ippon in less than two minutes, and afterward had one of the most demonstrative celebrations ever seen in the normally reserved sport of judo when he did a backflip on the mat.

Fabio Basile backflip

Italy's Fabio Basile celebrates with a backflip after winning gold in 66kg Olympic judo, while his opponent An Baul (KOR) looks on. Credit: Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports

The bronze medals went to Uzbekistan's Rishod Sobirov and Japan's Masashi Ebinuma. Ebinuma also won bronze in this weight class in 2012.

Men's 66kg results
Gold: Fabio Basile (ITA)
Silver: An Baul (KOR)
Bronze: Rishod Sobirov (UZB)
Bronze: Masashi Ebinuma (JPN)

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