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UAE judokas quickly acclimatised in Rio

posted on 04/08/2016: 1742 views



Rio-bound three UAE judokas quickly acclimatised themselves to the local conditions, food and the training facilities at the dojos provided inside the Barra Olympic Park in Barra da Tijuca.

"The surfaces are what we can call top class with enough foam cushion and the spring effect is just right. This has been our experience so far at the side dojos provided for our warm-ups and training," said two-time Olympian Sergio Toma, who will take part in the under 81kg category.

Competition in judo begins on August 6, a day after the opening ceremony at the Maracana Stadium (3am UAE time) on August 5, and will continue till August 12 with nearly 400 judokas expected to compete in 14 events, seven each for both men and women.

Victor Skfortuv (73kg category), Toma and Ivan Romarenko (100kg) were among the early birds at the Olympic Village. For the last five days, the three have been going through a series of training bouts with the local talent in their separate categories. The trio had undergone a long phase of camps and competitions in European and world meets before reaching Rio.

During the past 14 months they met with the qualifying criteria thanks to their podium finishes. In addition to this, the camp stints in Spain and Moldova have in particular been of great benefit to the three men in the run up to the Rio showdown.

The weigh-ins take place early this week in Rio and there will be a couple of more such sessions before the judokas are finally registered in their weight classifications.

"Our work over the years in order to reach the Olympics was set for a programme that was specially made for Rio. Judo can be our trump card for a medal or two perhaps, this time," Nasser Al Tamimi, secretary general of the UAE Wrestling, Judo and Kick Boxing Federation, said on Sunday evening in Rio.

"Victor Skfortuv begins the UAE challenge on August 8 in the 73kg category while Toma has his opening round on Aug. 9 in the under 81kg section. Ivan, a strong medal hope, has his round one encounter in the under 100kg category on August 11. If we have the luck of the draw slightly, we certainly stand a chance," he added.

"The opportunity we got to gradually build up form prior to the qualification rated tournaments was of great importance and we are grateful to our leaders and the federation for having supported us on our road to Rio," Tamimi said.

"The points were accumulated over the months and the numerous medals, including gold came at the various events where some of the top men bound for Rio were present. We have a five-gold, seven-silver and two-bronze performance file to prove our point for the 2015-16 period, and the events included Grand Slam legs. Thankfully there were no major injury worries all along." – Gulf News - http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/olympics-2016/uae-judokas-get-into-samba-grove

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