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Esther Stam does the right thing: Victory in Madrid

1 Jun 2015 18:30

   Paco Lozano / Judo y Otros
Esther Stam_GEO

The Olympic qualification period has officially started with a perfect. Madrid had the privilege to organise the first tournament which will count for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games qualification. The European Open in Madrid will maybe be a springboard for some competitors who picked up their first points in the Olympic cycle.

The eyes of were on Esther Stam, a former World University Champion acting for The Netherlands in the same category U70 as Kim Polling and Linda Bolder, a tough job to qualify. But Esther Stam changed her nation and is fighting for Georgia since this weekend, and she delivered. Stam dominated today in Madrid and won all of her four matches. She picked up her nickname with "Stamishvili". Today she started her Olympic road well and the communication expert was able to improve the expectations.

Even in a pool with last year's winner Maria Bernabeu, strong Italian women, French Margaux Pinot, who was defeated in the semi final. In the final Stam overcame Jennifer Pitzanti. Stam was very satisfied and thanked her country on the opportunity she got and she delivered from the start. Stamishvili took the first points in the women\\\'s event for Georgia on her road to Rio.

The next stop will be the first ever Grand Prix in Havana, Cuba were a strong Georgian team is expected. Stam doesn't want to look too much ahead, but at list this is the best imaginable start for the blond banker working for ING, who deposited 100 points to her account. Jackpot!

It was not an unusual sight to see Esther Stam step onto a medal podium; she had done so many times before. But what followed the presentation of her gold medal was the playing of the national anthem of Georgia her newly adopted country. “It was really special for me because I didn’t really expect to win”, said the Dutch-born judoka. Before the beginning of this Olympic qualification period she took the decision to compete for Georgia giving herself a strong chance of competing at the Olympics in Rio 2016. “Qualifying for the Netherlands would be extremely via these tournaments and Georgia has given me the chance to fight again. I am so happy that I could give something to Georgia with this title”, said the 27 years old woman.

In Madrid Stam collected her first points for the World Ranking. 100 points was her reward for the victory in Spain. “Concerning the points, I don’t look too far away. I am just happy to be here. It’s just the best start I could have imagined.”

Ester Stam has been chosen as the EJU female player of day 2. Across 15 competitors in her weight class, she first won against the Spaniard Maria del Mar Paredes by Ippon. In the second round she defeated Jennifer Pitzanti from Italy. After that she went trough to the semi final by defeating the French Margaux Pinot. In the final, she faced another Italian on the tatami. It was Giulia Cantoni whom she then also overcame by Ippon.

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  • Esther Stam (NED) - European Open Madrid (2014, ESP) - © Paco Lozano, Judo y Otros
  • Esther Stam (NED), Giulia Cantoni (ITA), Maria Bernabeu (ESP), Megan Fletcher (IRL) - European Open Madrid (2014, ESP) - © Paco Lozano, Judo y Otros

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