07/30/2012 11:50 EDT | Updated 09/29/2012 05:12 EDT

Russian Mansur Isaev wins men's 73K Olympic judo gold, defeats Japanese favourite in the final

LONDON - Mansur Isaev of Russia won the Olympic judo gold medal Monday in the men's 73-kilogram category.

Isaev defeated the current world champion, Riki Nakaya of Japan, in a close-fought final that saw both competitors struggling to pin each other to the ground.

The 25-year-old Isaev was seventh at the world championships last year.

Earlier in the day, Isaev beat top-ranked Wang Ki-chun in the semifinals.

The bronze medals were won by Nyam-Ochir Sainjargal of Mongolia and Ugo Legrand of France.