The Games of the Small States of Europe always sees Cyprus competing against other similar sized countries and is a good test for many of the athletes and their future careers.
Sofia Asvesta was competing in the -52 Kg category. In her first contest she came up against Telma Martins from Luxembourg who she beat by Ippon in the last minute of the contest. Her next contest was against Yamina-Sara Allag from Monaco who she beat 9 seconds into the second minute again with Ippon. In the final, Sofia fought Kim Eiden, again from Luxembourg. It was a very close match with both competitors attacking and almost scoring until Sofia threw Eiden for Waza-ari and went on to hold on for GOLD.
Nikola Evripidou came up against some very still competition in her -63Kg category. Her first contest was against Rania Drid from Monaco where she fought well, but lost in the end by Ippon. He second was against the athlete from Iceland, Asta Arnorsdottir who she lost to at the end of the first minute. Her third contest was against Lia Povendano Ruiz of Andora where Nikola scored first with a Waza-ari, but lost in the end in the last minute by Ippon. In her last contest, Nikola came up against the eventual silver medalist Florine Soula from Monaco who she lost to with Ippon. Nikola didn’t get a medal this time, but fought very well, against very good competition and there is a bright future for her.
Now onto the men!
Giorgios Balajiasvili competed in the -60 Kg and produced an excellent performance. First up was Dofri Bragason from Iceland who Giorgios beat with Ippon. Next up was Alexander Heiidarsson again from Iceland who Giorgios again beat by Ippon, this time within 46 seconds! Finally, Giorgios had to compete with Yann Siccardi from Monaco who he beat with Ippon in the final minute for GOLD. The contests and three Ippons!
In the -73 Kg Roudolf Kourtides beat Cedric Bessi from Monaco in his first contest with Ippon after Bessi had scored first with a Waza-ari. In his second contest, Rudolf lost to local hero Nikola Gardasevic from Montenegro by Ippon in the last minute. In the fight for third place, Rudolf fought Mar Reig Arnau from Adora. Rudolf was the more superior athlete and overpowered Arnau with a fantastic Ippon to take the BRONZE medal.
Aristos Michael won his first contest in the -81 Kg category against Johan Blanc from Monaco with an Ippon. In the final he fought Tizie-Jean-Thierry Gnamien, again from Monaco where they fought a very close contest. Aristo was unlucky to go down with a Waza-ari for a throw that could have gone either way and then in the third minute was thrown for Ippon. SILVER for Arito and another excellent result.
Giorgios Kroussaniotakis competed in the -100 Kg category and his first contest was against Por Davidsson from Iceland who he beat by Waza-ari. In his second contest, Giorgios went a Waza-ari down to Anto Dubreta from Montenegro before beating him by Ippon to take the win. In the final Giorgios fought Danilo Pantic from Montenegro. The contest was very tight with each athlete attacking the other continuously and a number of almost scores for both other them. In the end the match was decided with a single Waza-ari scored by Pantic. SILVER for Giorgios and another medal for Cyprus
SIX athletes, FIVE medals – TWO GOLD, TWO SILVER, ONE BRONZE – Excellent performance!
The medals are a tribute to the athletes, their coaches and the national team coaches all of whom were responsible for their medals today. With a little bit of luck, the two silver medals could have been gold, but saying that all the athletes fought well and justified being selected for the National Team.
The Federation would like to thank all the athletes for making us proud once again by representing Cyprus so well in the Games of the Small States of Europe.
#TeamCyprus – well done to all!
Some more photos of our athletes!