"It was an historic moment. We in Mongolia had dreamed of this for so long," the head national judo trainer, Odbog Balshinyam, says.
Mongolians were particularly happy about the fact that the medal came in judo, as it is similar to the national sport of wrestling.
"Many new judo clubs were founded following this success," Balshinyam says. "Lots of youngsters have become interested since then."
The 52-year-old trainer, once a runner-up in the world championships in the class up to 100 kilograms, leans back in his chair and smiles with satisfaction, his strong neck creasing.
The hero of the day in 2008 in Beijing was Naidan, a strongly built man with square-cut face and narrow eyes also competing in the class up to 100 kilograms.
"Winning the first gold medal gave me an unbelievable feeling" he says. "But also huge responsibility," he adds, as all eyes are on him to repeat his performance in London this summer.
The judoka have just returned from a training camp in Japan, and the national trainer has arranged a light work-out in the form of Mongolian wrestling.
A communist aura still hangs over the high, bare hall with its blue and yellow mats. Mongolia was a firm member of the communist bloc until 1990 and was dominated largely by the Soviet Union. The sports hall where the judo team is training was built in this era.
Legs apart in his blue judo suit, Tuvshinbayar confronts his sparring partner, holding him in a headlock. He looks up constantly at his trainer who calls out the sequence of holds he is to follow.
Following the Beijing Games, Tuvshinbayar incurred a knee injury, but he now feels fully fit again.
"In February he won the Grand Slam in Paris," says his trainer Hiromi Tomita, a Japanese who is looking after the Mongolian national team.
"I think he has a good chance of a medal," Tomita says. And pointing to Khasgbaatar Tsagaanbaatar, a 28-year-old judoka in a white suit, he predicts he will do well too.
Tsagaanbaatar took a world championship in 2009 after failing to medal in at the Beijing Games.
"I injured a rib a week before the contest, and so it didn't go that well," Tsagaanbaatar says. "But now I'm in proper preparation and I'm hoping for a medal.
The judoka is counting the days off. "My first bout is in 65 days," he says, giving the thumbs-up sign.
The Mongolian Olympic Committee has named 29 athletes for London, 16 men and 13 women, with members of the team competing in judo, wrestling, boxing, archery, the marathon, swimming events and shooting.
Balshinyam notes that Mongolia's population is just 2.8 million.
"And we are competing against very famous international athletes. Each medal for us is a huge event," he says.
Advertisements from a drinks company are already lining the streets of Ulan Bator showing the smiling team members over patriotic slogans: "Olympics- let's go" and "One country, one team."
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