Men's judo

Key dates: July 31, 178-pound preliminary medal rounds; Aug. 1, men's 198-pound final Venue: ExCel Exhibition Centre, London Big story: Ilias Iliadis, a Georgian-born Greek, was an Olympic champion in Athens at age 17 and is among the favorites here at a new weight, 90 kilograms (198 pounds), where he's won two world championships. Elnur Mammadli of Azerbaijan is also trying to win a second gold medal after moving up a class. The gold medalist at 161 pounds in Beijing, Mammadli won a European title at 178 pounds and will face defending Olympic champion Ole Bischof of Germany. Top U.S. prospects: 2008 Olympian Travis Stevens (above) of Bellevue, Wash., who will fight at 178 pounds is America's top medal hope. But since January he's been slowed by a torn hamstring, strained neck and a broken foot. New Jersey's Nick Delpopolo, who was adopted by a U.S. couple from a Montenegro orphanage when he was 21 months old, is a medal longshot at 161 pounds. Others to watch: French heavyweight Teddy Riner has won six world and two European championships but he finished third four years ago in his only Olympic appearance. And South Korea's Wang Ki-Chun has won a world title and two Asian championships since finishing second in Beijing at 161 pounds. Little-known fact: Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will lead the official Russian delegation to London, but President Vladimir Putin said he plans to be in England in a private capacity to watch judo. Putin holds a black belt in the sport and has recorded an instructional judo DVD.
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