The official draw of the Games of Small States of Europe 2023 took place this afternoon at the Luzzu Conference Hall. Whilst the listing displays an open field, there are a handful of acquainted names in the mix.
Cyprus not only leads the number of entries with a total of 15 judoka but also measures in quality. Back of a historical Grand Prix bronze a few days ago, Petros CHRISTODOULIDES will enter the field of play once again. Similar to his teammate, Sofia ASVESTA, who is competing in the -52kg category.
For the Small States sibling success, we will be looking for the following names under Montenegro: Tamara GARDASEVIC (-63kg) and Nikola GARDASEVIC (-81kg). Claudio NUNES DOS SANTOS (LUX) is not new around the block either and will surely deliver a test or two amongst the -73kg category.
The host nation will showcase their talents with the total of 8 competitors. Two of their stoutest athlete is also on the list, namely, Katryna ESPOSITO (-48kg) and Isaac BEZZINA (-100kg). Speaking of the home team, head coach, Aurelian FLEISZ, shared his thoughts ahead of the event;
The preparation went well, and we have a good team. Two of our judoka is slightly injured but I am still confident we will have a pleasant event. From the development point of view, it is important to be able to host this kind of events and promote judo. This week, I don’t only want to promote our sport via medals but also seek to attract by sharing our core values on and off the mat.
The individual tournament will take place tomorrow at the National Sports School of Pembroke, Malta. The event will be held across 2 tatami and scheduled to kickstart at 10:30am local time. The individual weight categories are slightly altered from the norm across the women since only four of the weight divisions will be on show: -48 kg, -52 kg, -63 kg, -70kg. Although some other sports began their competition schedule this morning, the Games of Small States of Europe 2023 will officially begin as the opening ceremony takes place tonight at 8:45pm local time.
Author: Szandra Szogedi