Gili Cohen of Israel was among the best performing athletes wining silver at the Grand Slam in Tel Aviv this year. She has won three IJF World Tour events and claimed 25 World Cup medals. Cohen is 11th in the world ranking list at U52kg and comments on the situation in Antalya to the IJF.
“Being here in Turkey feels good, almost like being back to normal. We have a lot of competitions and training camps and we can prepare ourselves. For a while we had a lot of uncertainty and we didn't know what would happen, especially with the Olympic Games, but that's behind us. It is great that we are back to our daily routine and that we have generic and specific goals. We can compete and I feel very privileged to have the possibility to do so.
Of course, on the other hand it is a stressful period because the Olympics are getting close and everyone wants to gain as many points as possible. Of course we first want to qualify for Tokyo but we also want to be seeded at the Games and be in the best shape in July. Really, I think that after this uncertain time we all went through, I can say that it's almost back to normal. Of course travelling is more strict with a lot of protocols to follow, a lot of PCR tests before competitions, before travelling. We live in bubbles and we have to do it again every time when we change country. At this level of judo we need to cut the weight more often, because right now as the Olympic qualification is in full swing, competitions are one after another, but it feels very good to be back and to do judo at this level. Our dream is alive again and I am so grateful for this.
The Antalya Grand Slam is very important. Of course every competition is important and offers a new chance to do things better and improve our skills, correcting details that didn't go well during the previous competitions and to fix them. First of all my goal here is to get the best result and to be on the podium. I come to all competitions with the idea of finishing with a medal. Here is no exception. I am here and then I will go to the European Championships and some more competitions before the Olympic Games. I came here to enjoy judo and give my best."
Gili Cohen is also a loyal correspondent of JudoInside in regard to Israelian judo history and collects national championships results for JudoInside creating more heroes from Israel.
The draw in Antalya will be conducted on Wednesday