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!