Sergiu Toma and Ivan Remarenco suffer first-and-second-round exits respectively at the International Judo Federation (IJF) Budapest Grand Prix on Sunday
UAE Asian Games judo medal hopefuls disappoint at Budapest tune-up event
Sergiu Toma and Ivan Remarenco’s Asian Games tune-up event ended in defeats but their hopes of reaching the medal rounds in the continental showpiece remains unaffected, according to the head of the UAE Wrestling, Judo and Kickboxing Federation.
Two of the UAE's main judo medal hopes at the Games starting in Indonesia next week suffered first-and-second-round exits respectively at the International Judo Federation (IJF) Budapest Grand Prix on Sunday.
“Whether they won or lost wasn’t an issue in this competition as we were not after results from the onset,” Naser Al Tamimi, general secretary of the UAE federation said Monday.
“The competition was a final warm-up but what was important for them was the build-up. They have come out of this in one piece and that’s very important for us.
“We still believe both Sergiu and Ivan remain potential medal prospects for us at the Asian Games, along with Victor [Scvortov], who has been preparing in Japan.”
Toma, a bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, has suffered a dramatic drop in the world rankings of late to 171. He lost to Slovakia’s world No 45 Peter Zilka in the first round in of the 90-kilogram weight division in Budapest.
Remarenco, ranked 40th in the world, won his opening fight in the 100kgs category over Simeon Catharina of the Netherlands before going down to Russian World No 16 Niiaz Bilalov in the next.
“Sergiu is returning from a back injury and hasn’t competed in many ranking events,” Al Tamimi said of Toma’s world ranking.
“He’s been preparing for the Asian Games and he’s in good shape to reach the medal rounds.
“We have two weeks for the Games. We have an experienced trio and they know what they are doing. We are confident they will deliver for us.”
Japan judokas dominated in Budapest, racking up nine gold and four silver medals from the 14 finals for both men and women.
Hungary won two golds while the remaining three were shared by Russia, Cuba and Brazil in the competition that drew 578 judokas from 86 countries.
The judo competition at the Asian Games is slated from August 29 to 31.