By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last night (Tuesday, August 16th) Robson Conceição, originally from Salvador, Bahia, became the first Brazilian to win an Olympic gold medal in boxing. In the lightweight gold medal-bout the 27-year-old defeated Frenchman Sofiane Oumiha by a unanimous judges’ decision.
After falling short in Beijing (2008) and London (2012), Robson Conceição was relentless in Rio 2016 controlling the bout, and set the home crowd into a frenzy. “É campeão!” (He’s champion!) the crowd chanted in the packed Riocentro arena at the Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca.
“Today I think I made history. But it is only possible with years of dedication and hard work. This medal is my whole life,” Conceição told reporters after the fight.
Adding, “My humble childhood, the difficulties I had no support and without sponsorship. We Brazilians are very worn and weary, but never give up. This medal is everything to me. I’m living a dream and I’m not waking up.”
The first Brazilian to take gold in the sport joins the medalists Servílio de Oliveira (bronze in the Mexico City Games in 1968), Adriana Araújo (bronze in London 2012), Yamaguchi Falcão (bronze in London 2012) and Esquiva Falcão (silver in London 2012).
Despite the mishaps in the last two Games, Robson has always shown an unshakeable conviction that he would return to Bahia with the Olympic title. “I had a lot of faith. I suffered a lot in training and trained a lot. […] I arrived with a lot of focus and a lot of will. ”
With the gold last night, boxing enters the list of sports that Brazil has Olympic champions, adding to athletics, beach volleyball, equestrian, gymnastics, judo, sailing, sport shooting, swimming and volleyball.