Ibrahim Khalaf has gracefully bowed out of the Olympic Games after defeat to Chile's Tom Briceno in Rio de Janeiro.
The 30-year-old lost a tough contest at the Carioca Arena 2 to the South American champion who is well above in the world rankings.
Reaching the Olympic middleweight (-90kg) contest was a massive achievement in itself for Khalaf who despite being devastated to lose was gracious in defeat. “I met a great opponent today but I am very disappointed to lose,” he said. “I tried my best for Jordan but I want to wish him all the best moving forward in the competition.
He was bigger than me so a very tough opponent to compete with. “For me now I will go back to Amman and keep working on my game and improving my ranking. "It has been a brilliant experience to be able to bring Jordan judo to Rio and I hope it will encourage more people to take an interest in the sport at home.”
Khalaf was always up against it against his bigger opponent and the decisive moment came at two minutes and 44 seconds into the contest when Briceno scored a ‘waza’ari’ which is an almost clean throw that landed Khalaf on the floor. Another score came at three minutes and 35 seconds when the Chilean scored a ‘Yuko’. Briceno will now go on to play against World No 1 Dong-Han Gwak of Korea.
What we know about Ibrahim’s opponent:
Ranked three in Pan America after the 2016 championships, this is the first Olympics for Tom Briceno, aged 22. He is a student and has been playing the sport since he was seven. He has taken a break from his studies to focus on his Rio preparation.