OLYMPICS / Barcelona 1992: Gordon bids goodbye after day of defeats: Judo: Philip Nicksan reports from Barcelona

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ELVIS Gordon, the British judo heavyweight, has decided to hang up his black belt after suffering the disappointment of a third Olympics without a medal. The 34-year-old from Wolverhampton, one of the most famous faces in the sport in Britain, was thrown for ippon (10 points) in the first round by David Douillet, a Frenchman man 11 years his junior.

Nevertheless, Gordon still made his mark on the event by producing a spectacular counter - the kind of throw that has punctuated his long international career - in the repechage. He launched the German Henry Stohr, who is also over 30, high in the air with a memorable rear throw for ippon.

Hopes of going further down the trail towards a bronze were, however, dashed by the 21-year-old Spaniard Ernesto Perez. In his heyday, Gordon would have dispatched such an opponent with ease. But now it was Perez who was able to dominate the match, finally throwing him with the same hand-assisted rear throw that proved so effective for Douillet in the first round.

Gordon can now see no future in prolonging a competitive career which has encompassed the European open weight category title (1988) and a silver medal in the open category in the World Championships in 1987.

The day also saw defeat for the Birmingham heavyweight Sharon Lee. The 29-year-old gave a creditable performance in the first round, losing only on a three-point score to China's Xiaoyan Zhuang, the world champion, who went on to win the title.

Lee then won her first fight in the repechage, throwing the Spaniard Inmaculada Vicente with a leg grab. With victory in her sights, though, she was knocked out in the next round by Hungary's Eva Granicz.