The delegation of the Cyprus Commonwealth Games Committee celebrates its first gold medal at the 22nd Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Georgios Balarjishvili won the gold medal in Judo, in the 66kg category, beating in the final the Scottish judoka Finlay Allan.
Petros Christodoulides secured fourth place in the 60kg category, losing out in the bronze medal match to India’s Vijay Kumar Yadav by ippon. In the semi-final held earlier on Monday, Balarjishvili defeated Alexander Short, also from Scotland, again by wazari.
In his first match on Monday morning, Balarjishvili efeated Callum Nash of Northern Ireland by ippon. Then, in the “8” stage, the young athlete defeated Australia’s Nathan Katz by wazari to qualify for the best “4” of his class.
The Cypriot judoka defeated Short in the semi-finals with a wazari, securing a medal for the Cypriot delegation, and went on to win the gold in the final of the 66kg category, beating his 20-year-old opponent from Scotland with a wazari.
The only previous medal for the sport of Judo at the Commonwealth Games, which was silver, was won by Balarjishvili’s current coach, Christos Christodoulides, in 2002 in Manchester.
This is the fourth medal for the Cyprus Commonwealth Games Committee delegation to the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
For his part, Petros Christodoulides, competing with an injury problem, managed to reach the semi-final of the 60kg category, losing to England’s Samuel Hall by ippon. Then, in the bronze medal match, Christodoulides lost to India’s Yadav also by ippon.
In his first match for the ’32’ stage, Christodoulides beat Kenny Williams of Sierra Leone and then went on to beat Cameroon’s Bernadin Tsala Tsala in the ’16’ stage. In the quarter-finals, the young judoka beat Simon Zulu Zam of Zambia.
In women’s Judo, Sophia Asvesta reached the “8” stage in the 52kg category, placing 7th.