Cyprus Judo

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 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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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!

Bronze For Sofia in Sarajevo

Sofia (right) on the podium for third place bronze medal

Sofia (right) on the podium for third place bronze medal

Sofia Asvesta has once again claimed a medal, this time representing Cyprus at the Junior European Judo Cup in Sarajevo.

First up for Sofia was Gordana Ilic from Bosnia Herzegovina. After receiving a penalty, Sofia went on to beat the athlete with Ippon towards the end of the second minute.

In the second round she met the athlete from Israel, Paz Kafri, a Bronze medal winner from the Athens Junior European Cup 2019 and who went on to the final after Sofia lost to her by Ippon in the second minute – a close contest, but the experience of the Israeli athlete was the main factor here.

Sofia entered the Repechage and her next opponent was Mila Kraljevic from Serbia. In a close contest, Sofia beat the athlete from Serbia in second minute again and proceeded to the next round.

Here she met Rachel Van de Meeberg from The Netherlands – Gold medallist in the 2016 Cadet European Cup.  Rachel was awarded a penalty in the first minute and then Sofia went on to win with Ippon.

This brought her to the contest for the third place with Laura Espadinha from France – a Bronze medallist in the Cadet European Cup in 2016.  After four minutes of contest time there was no score and the contest went to Golden Score.  Both athletes received 2 Shido each and the contest was very close and went on for three minutes where Sofia threw the athlete from France for a Waza-Ari and took the third place.

BRONZE FOR SOFIA and another EXCELLENT result for her at another major European international tournament.

Accompanying Sofia to the championship was her mother Antonina Asvesta.

The Cyprus Judo Federation wishes to thank and congratulate Sofia on her excellent result and wishes her even more success in the future.

Cyprus Judo Federation – We Have A Dream!

The flag of Cyprus flies again at a European competition

The flag of Cyprus flies again at a European competition

Proud mum testing the Bronze Medal

Proud mum testing the Bronze Medal