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Brazil dominates as Australia claims its first judo gold

19 January 2013

JUDO: Brazil has dominated the opening morning of judo at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival but Australia’s Tinka Easton gave the home crowd something to cheer about.

Easton took out the women’s U/52kg category with teammate Teagan Kimeklis winning bronze, but there was no doubt that the host of the next Summer Olympic Games were the most impressive in the opening session.

Brazil won three gold medals and two silver across the five events with Andre Humberto (men’s U/73kg), Luanh Rodrigues (men’s U/66kg) and Gabriela Clemente (women’s U/48kg) each claiming the top spot on the medal dais.

Chinese Taipei’s Ming-Yen Tsai was impressive throughout to take out the men’s U/60kg division knocking off Brazil’s Ariel Alencar in the final.

The Aussies would have been proud with their overall performance though, taking out Easton’s gold, along with two silver medals and four bronze.

Easton, from Berry NSW, was ecstatic with her gold medal performance taking out the round robin competition by winning each of her four fights.

“I am very excited with my win today as I think I performed well in my four fights,” the 16-year-old said. “I really wanted to go for gold and do my best. It is the first time I have really fought these countries so it was definitely that was something a bit different.

“I definitely have a goal to go on and make the Olympics in the long run.”

The hardluck story of the day belonged to Jordan Kouros in the U/66kg division who, with only 50 seconds left in his third fight and holding a dominant 12-0 lead, appeared to suffer a broken wrist.

Kouros, from Shell Cove NSW, showed exceptional courage to get to his feet and back in position to fight on but the judges wouldn’t let him continue. 

“I was winning with not long to go and I went for a throw and I landed on my wrist and it bent and I immediately thought it was broken,” the 15-year-old said.

“I wanted to keep going but the ref stopped the fight.”

If Kouros had of taken out the fight, he would have been remained undefeated and fought Rodrigues for the gold in the final round robin match.

“I fought hard and it would have been good to go for gold but at least I came away with something.

“This was my first event against other good judo countries like Brazil and the USA so it was a good experience. I am hoping now to get another crack at the junior worlds.”

Other notable performances for Australia included Chloe Rayner winning silver and Veronica Kopecny knocking off teammate Alexis Mason to take bronze in the women’s U/48kg and Daniel Rivet and Josh Katz both winning bronze in the U/73kg division after coming through the repechage.

Boris Amromin and Luc Baumgartner finished 4th and 5th in the U/73kg, Nathan Brain was knocked off by Rivet for the bronze in the U/73kg division in an exceptionally close fight and Maeve Coughlan taking 5th in the U/52kg division.

The action continues on Saturday afternoon with the final five events at Sydney Olympic Park’s Sports Halls.

Matt Bartolo

Follow the AYOF on Twitter:   @AYOF2013   #AYOF2013   #RoadtoRio

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