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Esther Stam faces roadblocks in the qualification for Rio2016
15 Dec 2015 17:10
Georgian Dutch judoka Esther Stam is suffering a herniated neck and cannot compete actively although her ambitions to compete in Rio for Georgia. Her first year for Georgia everything was paid but the second year where the Federation had to deal with financial issues, Stam was self-funded. Via crowdfunding she collected 5,000 euro to finance the prior events and perhaps in 2016 the financial outlook is better as long as the the physical roadblocks are solved.
Stam who faced competition U63kg from Anicka van Emden and U70 Kim Polling didn’t have the chance to qualify on behalf of the Netherlands and was able to switch with the help of the Georgian Federation. The men’s team is traditionally strong but the women are strong as well and with Stam they can boost women’s judo in Georgia even more.
Stam who was European Champion U17, U20 and U23 years and World University champion had a great start for Georgia winning the Euro Open in Madrid. With medals in Ulaanbaatar and Astana everything seemed to develop well. This year a fifth place in Budapest and silver in Tashkent Stam took a position in the World’s best 25 athletes U70kg. However the neck hernia may block further progression. In the Olympic Ranking Stam is 19th. Based on the Continental quota she may reach her first target as three out of the 19 are double positions from one country.
In case of a herniated or torn annulus, the ruptured nucleus is irritating a nerve root, which can cause pain in shoulders, arms and neck at the same time. Stam hopes to reach her goals and to boost Georgian women’s judo.
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