Junior European Judo Championships - Vantaa

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This week sees the latest competition in the EJU calendar, the Junior European Judo Championships in Vantaa, Finland with 194 men and 149 women taking part – a total of 343 athletes in all.

 We have three athletes taking part in the competition – Dato Matsoulatov in the -73 Kg category, Georgios Kroussaniotakis in the -90Kg category and representing the women Sofia Asvesta.

The boys are playing tomorrow and that meant that Sofia was first up. 

Her first competitor was Timea Kardos from Hungary who has already won the Poznan Junior European Cup this year. The contest was very close and Sofia received a Shido penalty after 1 minute and then again at the three minute mark. With 15 seconds remaining in the contest, Sofia threw the Hungarian athlete with a Waza-Ari and went on to win the contest.

Next up was Gultaj Mammadaliyeva from Azerbaijan, third in the Antalya Grand Prix and first place in the Cluj-Napoca European Open. After 45 seconds Sofia countered and threw her opponent for a Waza-Ari.  Her opponent received a Shido after 80 seconds and the closely fought match continued with her opponent scoring a Waza-Ari with 48 seconds to go to level the scores and we headed towards the Golden Score. A shido for Sofia in the third minute and then Sofia was caught and then thrown for a contest winning Waza ari.

Sofia went on to the Repechage where she fought Naomi Van Krevel from The Netherlands, previous winner of the Cadet European Cup.  Both athletes received a Shido in the second minute of the competition and then 30 seconds later the Dutch athlete threw Sofia for Ippon.

Sofia came SEVENTHoverall –seventh IN EUROPE!

This is an excellent result and this has earned her a place in the “Young Champions” programme organised by the Cyprus Sports Organisation.

Well done to Sofia – an excellent result.

Cyprus Judo Federation – We Have A Dream!

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European Judo Cup - Bratislava

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This weekend also saw two more athletes from Cyprus in action at the European Judo Cup in Bratislava.

Aristos Michael and Andreas Papapetrou were both in the -81Kg category. 

First up was Aristo who came up against Yusup Bekmurzaev from Belarus.  Aristo was given a Shido penalty and the Belarusian (who finally earned second place and the silver medal) scored a Waza-Ari and held on for the remainder of the contest.

In the first round of the Repechage Aristo came up against Rober Trojnar from the Czech Republic. Aritos scored first with a Waza-Ari and then went on to hold on until the end of the contest.

Next up was Miguel Alves from Portugal who scored an Ippon in the third minute beating Aristo and proceeding to the next round.

Andreas came up against Jindrich Turek in his first contest who scored a Waza-Ari and then an Ippon.  Unfortunately, he did not proceed to the semi-final so Andreas competition ended here.

Both athletes fought well against very tough competition - congratulations to them both!

Cyprus Judo Federation – We Have A Dream!

World Championship – Tokyo, Japan

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The most important event of the year in the Judo calendar is the World Championship that this year is being held in Tokyo, Japan.  With 835 competitors (506 men and 329 women) from 147 countries, it shows why this is such an important event.

Taking part in the competition was our athlete Christos Tricomitis in the -73Kg category – the second largest category with 90 athletes  After receiving a bye in the first round, Christos came up against the Turkish athlete Bilal Ciloglu.  The contest was close with both athletes attempting techniques.  Christos received a Shido penalty and then a second to take him close to losing the contest.  The contest continued with attacks from both athletes, but the referee gave Christos a third Shido for non-combativity in the third minute that meant he unfortunately lost the contest.  Ciloglu woe 2 more contests but lost to favourite Ono from Japan in the fifth round which meant that Christos did not proceed to the Repechage.

Well done to Christo for his brave effort – again our athletes did us proud!

Accompanying Christos was National Coach, Lavrentis Alexanidis.

Cyprus Judo Federation – We have A Dream!

Christos Tricomitis in blue

Christos Tricomitis in blue

Christos Tricomitis in blue

Christos Tricomitis in blue

Junior European Judo Cup - Ponzan, Poland

Georgios (blue) in action

Georgios (blue) in action

Representing Cyprus at the Junior European Judo Cup in Poznan, Italy this weekend was our athlete in the -90 Kg category, Georgios Krussanotakis from the Kyrenia Judo Union. The competition had 113 male athletes from 19 countries.

First up for Georgio was Bartosz Mackowski from Poland. Georgio scored a Waza-Ari and then towards the end of the four minutes an Ippon and proceeded to the next stage.

Gere he met Moritz Moser from Austria who Georgio beat in just over a minute with an Ippon.

In his third contest, Georgios came up agains Eniel Caroly from France, an athlete who had already got Gold at the Paks Junior European Cup this year and a very experienced athlete. After 54 seconds, Georgio was thrown for Ippon, but as Caroly went on to the final, Georgio went to the Repechage.

His frist contest there was against Kacper Kubiak from Poland. Although Georgio received 2 Shido penalties, he went on to win by Ippon half way through the fourth minute.

Next up was Martn Bezdek from the Czech Republic. Georgio scored a Waza-Ari, but in the ned lost with Ippon.

Georgio’s efforts earned him 7th place and a very respectable result against some very experienced European athletes and one again did Cyprus proud - well done Georgio!

Cyprus judo Federation - We Have A Dream!

IJF World Judo Tour – Zagreb, Croatia

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The IJF World Judo Tour in Zagreb was also held this week – a Judo tournament that where 558 competitors (332 men and 226 women) from 87 countries took part. It is another very tough competition and one where our athletes gain valuable experience competing against some of the best in the world

Two athletes represented Cyprus at these games – Sofia Asvesta in the -52 Kg women and Georgios Kroussaniotakis in the -90 Kg men.

Sofia Asvesta wearing the white Judogi

Sofia Asvesta wearing the white Judogi

On day 1 it was Sofia’s turn. She came up against Tinka Easton from Australia in her first contest. After initially battling for grips, Sofia scored a Waza-Ari after just 20 seconds.  The next minute saw both athletes attacking and Easton receiving a Shido penalty.  With almost 2 minutes to go the Australian athlete scored a Waza-Ari levelling the scores. Sofia continued her attacks but was caught for a second Waza-Ari by Easton, giving her the win. Unfortunately, Easton was beaten in her next contest so Sofia did not proceed to the Repechage.

Georgios Kroussaniotakis wearing the white Judogi

Georgios Kroussaniotakis wearing the white Judogi

Day 2 saw Georgios in action against the Algerian athlete Abderrahmane Benamadi. The first minute saw the Algerian in a failed attack with both athletes going to Ne-Waza where they attempted techniques without success until Georgios was turned by the Algerian and held for 20 seconds – Ippon to the Algerian.  Once again, the Algerian lost two contests down the line which meant that Georgios did not progress to the Repechage.

Our athletes were accompanied by National Coach, Theodoros Mandritis,

 Though we might not have had any medals at the tournament, both athletes performed well and learn more and more with every appearance. Such high-level tournament is the only place where our athletes will gain experience, not only by competing, but by watching the contests as well.

Cyprus Judo Federation – We have A Dream!

European Youth Olympic Festival – Day 2

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Day 2 saw our athlete Panagiotis Shakkos from Kiti in action in the -73 Kg category

First up was the athlete from Slovenia, Miha Rudolf.  The Slovenian received a Shido penalty and then Panagioti scored a Waza-Ari and despite receiving 2 Shido penaties himself, Panagioti held on to win the contest.

His next opponent was Luigi Centracchio from Italy who in 2019 had already taken Silver in the European Cadets and Gold in the Teplice Cadet European Cup.  The contest was very close with both athletes attacking but at the end of the 4 minutes there was no score on the board.  At the end of the fifth minute, the Italian scored an Ippon and took the contest.

Panagioti went to the Repechage where he came up against Alexandre Tama of France – a formidable opponent who this year had already taken Gold at the Biala Cadet European Cup, Bronze at the Zagreb Cadet European Cup and fifth place at the European Cadet Championships.  Both contestants battled for grip and throws throughout the contest but it was the Frenchman that managed to throw Panagioti for Ippon at the end of the fourth minute.

Panagioti came ninth overall, a very respectable result and he held himself very well against some of the strongest athletes in this weight category which was arguably one of the toughest with the equal most athletes.

Once again, the Federation is proud of its athlete who has proved them Cyprus Olympic Committee that they were right in choosing him.

Cyprus Judo Federation – We Have A Dream!

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European Youth Olympic Festival - Day 1

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This week sees the European Youth Olympic Festival taking part in Baku, Azerbaijan where the Cyprus Olympic Committee took a team of sixteen athletes to represent Cyprus at the Games.  Of the sixteen, two of these athletes were from Judo!

The Judo contests alone had athletes from 40 European countries and a total of 297 athletes – 165 men and 132 women.

Representing Cyprus are Giorgios Balajiasvili in the -60 KG category and Panayiotis Shakkos in the -73Kg category – both categories of which had the highest number of athletes at 26 athletes per category.

It is worth noting that Giorgios was also chosen by the Cyprus Olympic Committee to be the flag bearer of Team Cyprus at the Opening Event – a singular honour and recognition of his accomplishments.

Day 1 saw Giorgios in action and first up was Olaf Loska from Poland. In a very close competition, Olaf received 2 Shido penalties and the contest went to Golden Score that lasted a mere 12 seconds when Giorgios threw him for Ippon.  Next up was Gustav Brovold from Norway.  The athlete from Norway received two Shido penalties and then was thrown by Giorgio in the third minute for Ippon and another win for our athlete.

His next opponent was Rizen Magomadov from Russia, a formidable opponent who this year had already got Gold in the Bielsko Biala Cadet European Cup and Bielsko Biala Cadet European Cup tournaments as well as Bronze in the European Cadet Championships.  The contest was very close with attacks from both athletes, but Giorgios was thrown for an Ippon at the end of the second minute.  Magomadov progressed to the Final so this made Giorgios eligible for the Repechage.

His first opponent here was Antonin Dvoracek from the Czech Republic who had got Bronze in the Koper Cadet European Cup in 2018.  Giorgios scored a Waza-ari and then a second one in the fourth minute to take him to the next round where he fought Andrejs Skomorohovs from Lativia – another tough competitor who this year had already gotten Gold at the Coimbra Cadet European Cup, fifth place at the European Cadet Championships and Bronze at the Teplice Cadet European Cup. This was a very fast and explosive contest with the Lativan scoring first with a Waza-Ari in the first 30 seconds before Giorgios threw him or Ippon at the end of the first minute.

 This took Giorgios to the contest for third place Bronze where he came up against Muhammed Demirel from Turkey who had gotten Silver at the European Cadet Championships this year and in 2018 had gotten Gold at the Antalya Cadets European Cup and Bronze at the European Cadets Championships.  The contest started with a lot of control from both athletes, but with Giorgios attacking more. this earnt the Turkish athlete a Shido for Non-Combativity in the first minute. At the end of the second minute, after attacks from both athletes Giorgios lifted his opponent for Ura-Nage and scored a huge Waza-Ari – unlucky not to be Ippon.  With 90 secinds to go the Turkish athlete received another Shido and this made him attack more to avoid disqualification.  With 20 seconds to go Giorgios received a Shido for a false attack and then the contest continued to Ne-Waza where Giorgios controlled his opponent on the ground until the time ran out.

BRONZE for Giorgios and Third place – an EXCELLENT result.

One thing to note, Giorgios won each of his contests with a different throw!

We would like to thank the Technical Director of the Federation, Christodoulos Christodoulides who accompanied Team Cyprus as Coach for the Judo athletes.

Giorgios did the Cyprus Judo Federation, the Cyprus Olympic Committee and our country proud with his Bronze medal.

The standard of the Judo in Cyprus is on the rise and we will ensure that it keeps getting better and better.  Our athletes, all of them, have a lot of potential and the Federation is behind them all the way.

Cyprus Judo Federation – We Have A Dream!

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TeamCyprus Flag Bearer

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Judo was given another singular honour by the Cyprus Olympic Committee when our athlete Giogios Balajiasvili was chosen to carry the flag of Team Cyprus at the opening ceremony of the 15th European Youth Olympic Festival that is being held in Baku Azerbaijan.

Giorgios recently got a Gold Medal at the Games of the Small States of Europe in Montenegro, a Silver Medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2017 and was selected to represent Cyprus at the Youth Olympic Games in Rio last year.

All of these factors made the Cyprus Olympic Committee choose Giorgios to be the flag bearer for Team Cyprus.

Video showing the team entering the stadium HERE

Well done Giorgio!

Go TeamCyprus!!

Cyprus Judo Federation - We Have A Dream!

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IJF Grand Prix World Tour – Budapest, Hungary

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Another fiercely competitive and difficult tournament is the IJF Grand Prix, part of the IJF World Judo Tour 2019. This time it was held in Budapest, Hungary with 549 competitors (343 men and 206 women) from 82 countries and all continents.

Representing Cyprus were two of our athletes – Charilaos Hadjiadamou in the -73Kg category and Kyriacos Nicolaou in the -90Kg category.

First up was Charilaos on Day 2 who came up against Salvador Cases Roca from Spain.  The first two minutes were very close with each competitor battling for Kumi-Kata and attempting a few throws.  Charilaos showed more technique in Tachi-Waza with the Spaniard more comfortable on the ground.  Half-way through the third minute Charilaos was held with Yoko Shiho Gatame by the Spaniard for 20 seconds giving him the Ippon and the win.

Day 3 saw Kyriacos competing and saw him come up against the Chinese athlete Yadong Xie, one of the up-and-coming athletes from China. The contest started with both athletes vying for grip and attacking with some near throws. The Chinese athlete received a Shido and in the second minute Kyriacos almost threw Xie with O Goshi. Towards the end of the third minute, the Chinese athlete caught Kyriacos and threw him for Ippon.

Our athletes were accompanied by Marinos Piponas from Kiti as Team Coach.

As Cyprus we are not under any illusion that these IJF tournaments will be easy – the top athletes of the world attend them, but it is only by attending more competitions such as this and competing against the best there is in the world that our athletes will become better.

Both our athletes held their own against much more experienced competitors and did us proud once again.

Cyprus Judo Federation – We Have A Dream!