Olympics: Belgian judo medallist assaulted on Copacabana

Belgium's Dirk van Tichelt celebrates after defeating Hungary's Miklos Ungvari in their men's under-73kg judo bronze medal B match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug 8.
Belgium's Dirk van Tichelt celebrates after defeating Hungary's Miklos Ungvari in their men's under-73kg judo bronze medal B match at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug 8.PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - Belgian Olympic judo medallist Dirk Van Tichelt suffered a black eye in a late-night assault on Copacabana beach in Rio, the Belgian Olympic Committee confirmed on Tuesday (Aug 9).

Just hours after winning under-73kg bronze in the dojo on Monday, Van Tichelt was out celebrating with his training partner on the world famous beach when the assault occurred.

"His training partner's phone was stolen and as Dirk ran after the thief, he was punched in the face by someone else," Belgian Olympic Committee communications director Luc Rampaer told AFP.

"The police were nearby so he made a formal complaint and then was seen by a doctor at the hospital as a precaution, although there was nothing serious."

Van Tichelt was back at the judo arena in Rio on Tuesday being photographed with his medal and his shiner.

According to Belgian media, he claimed the black eye came from his robust bouts in the judo competition. But Rampaer confirmed it was from the assault.

Brazilian media claimed the assault was committed by a local call girl, but Rampaer denied it.

"It's false information. It was definitely a man who punched him; that's what the police report says," he said.

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