Russian judoka commits suicide after failure in Olympics

Last Updated: Jun 17, 2013, 18:27 PM IST

Moscow: Russian judo champion Elena Ivashchenko committed suicide last Saturday because of her failure during the London Olympics, a judo official said Monday.

Elena Ivashchenko, 28, a four-time European champion (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012), jumped from the 15th floor in the Siberian city of Tyumen.

"Her depression started after her defeat at the Olympics. She really punished herself for it. She had beaten several times before those athletes she lost to (in London)," director of the Tyumen Judo Olympic training centre Vyacheslav Yurlov said.

Last summer, Cuban judoka Idalys Ortiz dumped Ivashchenko out of the competition and subsequently won the gold. Ivashchenko finished seventh in London.

"It seems that she couldn`t cope with the emotional pressure of it all, so opted for suicide," Yurlov said.

The European Judo Union called her "one of the strong pillars of the Russian women`s team and in her category".

"Her performances and her personality will be forever in our minds," the union said in a statement Sunday.