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Medals shared around as judo wraps up

19 January 2013

JUDO: Australia, Brazil, China and the USA all shared in the gold in the afternoon session of the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival judo competition.

Brazil again topped the medal tally winning two gold, with Gratychewa Farias (U/63kg) and Clovis Braga Jnr (81/kg+) climbing to the top of the medal dais, but Ellen Wright gave Australia their second gold medal after taking out the women’s U/57kg division.

Rongwei Lin ensured China did not return home without a gold medal when he knocked off Australia’s Hayden Ivers in the final, while USA’s Mackenzie Williams dominated the women’s 63kg+ competition.  

Wright, the 2012 National Girls Champion, won both of her fights to take out the competition, as teammate Jessica Manson won silver.

“I think I fought the best that I have ever fought in my whole life,” Wright said.

“The training, the prep, the coaches have all been amazing and it’s really helped.”

With the AYOF having produced many Olympians and Olympic Champions, Wright is hoping the competition will help her progress towards her goals.

“The AYOF is definitely a big stepping stone in my judo career and it’s made me definitely want to keep going.”

“I want to keep training really hard, keep up a winning streak and just go to all the competitions so that I can and get the experience. It’s really good to get the international experience under your belt.”

Fellow Australian Ivers, son of Sydney 2000 Olympian Robert Ivers, won his U/81kg semi-final to take on Lin for gold.

Despite Ivers being the aggressor, repeatedly getting into position to take Lin down in front of a boisterous home crowd, the Chinese judoka countered well and steadily got on top of his opponent and get the win.

“I thought I went alright I think I could have used my arms a bit more and some balance but it was still good,” Ivers said.

“It’s a good experience to witness the international players around and see where I stand judo-wise. I think I’m doing really well, but there’s still room for improvement.”

Australian Naomi De-Brune also won silver, with teammate Laura Buissink finishing 4th in the women’s +63kg but the pair were no match for USA’s Williams who won all four of her fights by ippon.  

“It’s really nice to compete in international competitions,” Williams said.

“It’s very interesting competing with Australians cause you will find that they are more left sided and it’s interesting to see the different variations from country to country.”

Alicia Congram won bronze after winning two of her four fights in the U/63kg division with teammate Salome Broch taking 4th.

Oschuan Bezuidenhout won bronze in the 81kg+ with Aaron Eobob and Matthew Phung coming 4th and 5th.

Dylan Voncina added another bronze in the U/81kg division, while Samuel Dobb lost the other bronze medal playoff to Brazil’s Conrado Oliveira.

The five events wrapped up the 2013 AYOF judo competition with Brazil starring with a total of five gold medals from ten events. Australia will undoubtedly be pleased with their two gold, five silver and seven bronze medals.

Joline Samawi and Matt Bartolo

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

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