Montreal, August 6, 2016 – In his second Olympic experience, Brazilian-origin Montrealer Sergio Pessoa bowed out of the Under 60 kg competition after losing his first match to Georgian Amiran Papinashvili, at Rio’s Arena Carioca.
A waza-ari scored 1 minute 25 seconds into the match tipped the scale in favour of the Georgian, at the end of the full five minutes of regular time. 27-year-old Pessoa, ranked 33rd in the world, started out confident and in control, but grew more passive in the second half of the bout, worn out by his opponent, 12th in the world and bronze medallist at the 2014 World Championships.
“I tried to keep my distance, which worked well in the first minute,” said Pessoa. “In the second minute, he managed to come closer. I blocked him once, then twice, and he ended up throwing me the third time around. I tried to twist out of his throw, but it didn’t work. After three minutes and a half, he applied a technique and my head hit hard. I don’t really recall much of what happened towards the end of the fight because I was so dizzy.”
At the end of the bout, Amiran Papinashvili, who finished the competition in fifth place, had the winning waza-ari and a yuko to his name, while Sergio Pessoa had taken two penalties – one for non-combativity and one for excessively defensive posture.
Glowing with pride to compete in Rio
“I am so proud to be here today,” said the judoka. “I have overcome so many obstacles these past few years. I’ve spent two and a half out of the past four years nursing an injury.”
Competing before several friends and family members, the Sao Paulo native saw in this unique moment major personal significance. “Even though I lost, I am pretty sure everybody is proud of me too,” said Pessoa, who soon will be a proud dad to little Camila, due four months from now. “This is such a special moment, particularly because it has brought the whole family together. There are people here that I haven’t seen in two, three years.”
The Olympic Under 60 kg gold went to Russian Beslan Mudranov, who won the final match in overtime against silver medallist Kazakh Yeldos Smetov. Japan’s Naohisa Takato and Uzbekistan’s Diyorbek Urozboev walked away with the two bronze medals.
Written by Sportcom for Judo Canada
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