Home » Judo news
The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com
Sergiu Toma keen to repay adopted nation UAE
4 Aug 2016 10:30
There will be something very different about Sergiu Toma’s third appearance at the Olympic Games in Rio as he lines up in UAE colours for the first time. There will be something very different about Sergiu Toma’s third appearance at the Olympic Games in Rio.
He is already an Olympic veteran, having competed at both Beijing and London for the country of his birth, Moldova. In Brazil, however, he’ll be representing the UAE.
In 2013 the UAE began the process of making Toma, among others, a naturalised Emirati citizen. He is part of a 13-strong UAE team in Brazil, which also includes two other Moldovan-born judokas, Victor Scvortov and Ivan Remarenco.
The 29-year-old was eliminated in the second round by Georgia’s David Kevkhishvili in China in 2008. He beat Czech opponent Jaromir Musil four years later but then exited in the third round at the hands of Japan’s Takahiro Nakai.
The man who won European silver and World Championship bronze in 2011 is aware Rio might be his final appearance on the grandest stage of all, and he is determined to make his mark in Brazil.
“In London I lost the chance to get a bronze medal so my aim in Rio is very much to get a medal,” said the man now ranked inside the world’s top 10. “I am 29 so I am in the twilight of my career, it could be my last Olympics so I want to achieve a medal before I retire.”
Unlike in his younger years, form would suggest Toma’s time is now. He is ranked ninth in the world in the -81kg weight category he competes in, and insists he is determined to repay the faith shown in him by the UAE Wrestling & Judo Federation.
“I am desperate to win a medal before that (retirement) and I want to give something back to the UAE,” admitted Toma, born in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau. “I want to return the faith that the UAE have put in me. With all the support and care I have received from them I want to give something back, because my life has changed big time since I switched to fight for the UAE.”
In Rio, world No. 1 Avtandili Tchrikishvili is likely to provide the sternest test to Toma’s medal aspirations. The 25-year-old Georgian is the reigning European champion.
Related judoka and events
Related Judo Photos
Related Judo Videos
Related Judo News
In the category U81kg there remains two big prospects for the World title in Budapest: Olympic Champion Khasan Khalmurzaev of Russia and World Champion Takanori Nagase of Japan. Both have fought very little since the 2016 Rio Olympics, but when they did, they shone brightly. Here in Budapest they are in the same pool and may meet in the quarter final. Read more
A large team of 28 French men will please the home crowd in Paris at the first Olympic World Tour event for 2020. Cyrille Maret is the man who can win the title for the fourth time in a row. Not yet as good as the six victories for Riner, but still legendary to be able to win a fourth title in the new AccorArena in Paris. Riner won’t compete this time, but there are enough athletes left to enjoy the Grand Slam of Paris. Read more
United Arab Emirates judo hero Sergiu Toma was again the man of the moment for his country as he became the first UAE judoka to win a Grand Slam and he was able to do it where it matters the most, at his home event and in front of his federation and supporters. In 2013 when Abu Dhabi was still a Grand Prix Toma and Scvortov won. Read more
The fourth Grand Slam of the season is due in Abu Dhabi starting on Friday. 157 Judoka from 34 countries have been linked in the draw which resulted in some tasty matches. Despite the low amount of participants, some of the finest athletes can be seen in the capital of the UAE. Special guest at the draw was Ilias Iliadis, while IJF Head Sports Director Vladimir Barta conducted the draw. Read more
The IJF World Judo Tour has stopped in Croatia (Zagreb Grand Prix) and Uzbekistan (Tashkent Grand Prix) following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and has now arrived in Abu Dhabi for the penultimate Grand Slam of the year. Grand Slams have been held in Paris (France), Baku (Azerbaijan) and Tyumen (Russia) already this year with the season set to finish in December with the fifth and final Grand Slam in Tokyo (Japan). Triple World Champion and 2004 Olympic Champion Ilias Iliadis watched the draw this time from another point of view and saw some good matches to look out for. Read more
Honoka Yamauchi (JPN)