World Cadet Judo Championships – Almaty, Kazakhstan

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Let’s make no mistake – this is NOT a small competition – it is the World Championship for Cadets and it is held every two years, this year in the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan with 464 athletes from 61 countries – 256 men and 208 women.

 Cyprus is represented by 7 athletes – 5 men and 2 women – Petros Christodoulides -50Kg, Kyprianos Andreou -60Kg, Georgios Balajiasvili -60Kg, Christos Georgiou -66Kg, Panagiotis Shakkos, -73Kg, Constantia Antoniou -70Kg and Janet Michailidou in the +70Kg category.

Petros Christodoulides -50Kg

 First up was Petro and his first contest was against the American champion Tegan Yuasa who at 17 was 3 years older than him and number 38 in the world ranking – 98 places higher than Petro!

 Petro was unlucky not to receive a score after only 12 seconds, but it was the American scored first in the first minute with a Seoi-Nage technique. The next minute saw both athletes competing for grips and trying to attack, but it was Petro who threw the American with Ippon Seoi Nage on the edge of the mat for a clear Ippon!

Contest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNV1vtZhykg

Petros next came up against Alexandru Matei from Romania who got the Gold medal at the Berlin Cadet European Cup earlier this year – a highly ranked athlete with a lot of experience at both European and World level and who received a bye in the first round. 

The contest started with both athletes vying for grips and Petro attacking. The Romanian attacked with a failed attack and Petro attempted to stangle him in Ne-Waza without effect. Towards the end of the first minute, Matei turned in for a Kataguruma style technique catching Petro and throwing him for Ippon – the Romanian went on to get Fifth place.

This is Petros first World Championship and with his win climbed 20 places in the World Ranking ladder.

Contest video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6w2W4rZnFc

Kyprianos Andreou -60Kg

Kypriano received a bye in the first round and was then up against Zakariae Elmaallem from Marocco – a very experienced athlete who had gotten Gold at the Tunis Cadet African Cup, Silver at the Cassablanca Cadet African Cup and Bronze at the African Junior Championships – all this year. Both athletes were attacking and for the first 60 seconds, there was very little between them, but the Moroccan received a Shido for non-combativity at the end of the first 60 seconds. In the second minute both athletes attacked with both of them almost scoring, but it was Elmaallem who caught Kypriano half way through the third minute and threw him for Ippon.

Contest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxuZrg9-WdQ

Georgios Balajishvili -60Kg

After a bye, the first contest for Georgios was against the Canadian Daniel McCristal who got Bronze at the Monteal Junior Panamerican cup and Bronze in the Montreal Cadet Panamerican Cup earlier this year. The contest started with a lot of vying for grips and the first minute had only two attacks from Georgio. The Canadian received a Shido penalty for non-combativity at the beginning of the second minute and thirty seconds later he attacked, but Georgio countered him and took him to the group – Ippon!

Contest video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiZerP-d2-I

Next up for Georgio was B. Tralhao Fernandes from Portugal. Both athletes came out attacking with the majority going to Georio and the at the end of the first minute, Fenandes received a Shido for non-combativity.  Into the second minute and the attacks from Georgio continued without any from the Portuguese athlete who received a second Shido for non-combativity. The attacks from Georgio continued, following them with Ne-Waza as well.  With no real attacks from Fernandes he received a third and final Shido eliminating him and giving the win to Georgio.

Contest video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DBnCJrbJS0

Georgio’s third contest was up against the experienced Japanese athlete Keiji Tsujioka. Not daunted by his opponent, Georgio came out attack both in Tach-Waza and Ne-Waza where he nearly was able to hold the Japanese athlete. Whilst on the ground Tsujioka tried to turn Georgio, but put his fingers illegally in his trousers and received a Shido penalty for this. The contest continued with both athletes try to get a good grip on the other and just into the third minute Georgio went to throw the Japanese athlete taking him clear off the ground, but landing on his front – no score. The athletes went into Ne-Waza again and it was here where Tsujioka’s experience showed as he held Georgio down for Ippon. 

Tsujioka went on to win the Gold medal so losing against him was no disgrace

Contest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqtjTsCAIpc

Georgio went into the Repechage and came up against Turan Bayramov from Azererbaijan who had gotten Gold in both the European Cadet Championship and Teplice Cadet European Championship earlier this year – another very experienced athlete. World rankings and potential medals were at stake here so both athletes started with attacks and at the end of the first minute Bayramov attacked throwing Georgio that went for a video review – no score was given and the contest continued, again with both athletes attacking. After receiving some medical treatment, Georgios came back to the mat and the contest continued but with Georgio receiving a Shido penalty for aggressively breaking the grip of his opponent.  The contest continued into the third minute with Georgio needing treatment again for the bloody nose.  Bayramov attempted another throw and took Georgio to Ne-Waza where he managed to strangle Georgio for Ippon.

Contest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAmutZCEtNE

End of the road for Georgio, but he obtained SEVENTH place in the World Championship – another excellent performance by him!

Christos Georgiou -66Kg

Christos received a bye in the first round and had the athlete Jahja Nurkovi from Montenegro who had taken Bronze at the Teplice Cadet European Cup earlier this year.

Nurkovi attacked early almost scoring and taking Christo to Ne-Waza where he almost held him. The contest continued with both athletes constantly attacking and almost throwing the other. Halfway through the second minute Christo attacked, but it was Nurkovi who countered and threw Christo for Ippon.

Contest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRcNSib0blE

Panagiotis Shakkos -73Kg

 

Panagiotos also received a bye and then his first contest was against Filip Ivanka from the Czech Republic – who had won Gold at the Fuengirola Cadet European Championship this year.

As they went into Golden Score, Panayioti threw Ivanka for Ippon and proceeded to the next round.

Here, he came up against Ganijon Ganijev from Tajikistan who had taken Gold at the Asia-Oceania Cadet Championships earlier this year and a very experienced athlete. Ganijev scored a Waza-Ari then an Ippon beating Panagioti.

Contest video: No video available

Constantina Antoniou

Onto the ladies and first up was Constantina who had Shehata Afnan of Egypt, a Bronze medallist in the African Junior Championship this year. Both athletes were contesting for grips from the beginning and first attack went to Constantina and then into Ne-Waza.  She then received a Shido after 90 seconds and the attacks from Constantina continued well into the third minute when the Eqyptian finally received a Shido for non-combativity and soon after a second for grabbing the trousers. The contest continued with more attacks from Constantina who almost threw the Egyptian with 30 seconds to go. The time ended and the contest went into Golden Score where, against the run-of-play, the Egyptian attacked, her FIRST in the contest and threw Constantina for a score, ending the contest. With no attacks in the 4 minutes of contest time, surely this was an injustice against Constantina as the Egyptian should have received at least one penalty for non-combativity?

Contest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLB9mMameWw and see for yourself the lack of attacks from the Egyptian athlete.

Janet Michaelidou

Last for Cyprus was Janet who after getting a bye in the first round fought local athlete Madina Paragulgova from Kazakhstan who this year got Gold at the Macau Cadet Asian Cup and Gold at the Hong Kong Cadet Asian Cup. Janet was giving away a lot of weight to the heavier, more advanced athlete.  Both athletes came out attacking and trying to get their grip on the other. Janet attacked and then for a second time, this time Paragulgova was waiting for her and countered her for Ippon.

Contest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-PIpiNEJb8

Cyprus Judo Federation

The Cadet World Championship is the highest competition for Cadets all over the world and the standard of Judo was very high. The athletes from Cyprus showed us once again the progress they have made and the ever-increasing level, because it is only by competing at this level that the athletes from Cyprus will become better.

The Federation is very pleased with all the athletes and their performances at the championship – some of which came up against very experienced athletes that eventually won medals.

The Federation would also like to thank National Coach Lavrentis Alexanidis and Coach Marinos Piponas who accompanied our athletes to the event. 

Cyprus Judo Federation – We Have A Dream!