Moldova's judo stars battle for national title
Moldova's top judokas gathered in Chisinau on December 8th to compete for the national championship. The competition, held at the University of Physical Education and Sports, saw approximately 200 athletes from across the country fight for the coveted title.
Although notable absentees included national team leaders Denis Vieru and Petru Pelivan, due to their international competition schedules, the event still boasted a star-studded line-up. World champion Mihail Latîșev and European champion Radu Izvoreanu were among the favourites vying for gold.
Coach Valeriu Duminică expressed optimism despite the absence of some key players: "The absence of Denis Vieru and Petru Pelivan is a big loss, but we are still confident that we have a strong team. We are hoping to use this competition to assess our younger athletes and see who is ready to step up to the next level."
The athletes themselves echoed their coach's sentiments, voicing their determination to finish the year strong. Adil Osmanov declared, "My goal is to win first place. I don't think there is much difference in preparation for a national or international competition. I always give it my all."
Sharing similar ambitions, Mihail Latîșev stated, "This is the last competition of the year. I want to finish the season strong and then enjoy the holidays. I always aim to win gold."
Radu Izvoreanu added, "I expect to be the champion. That's why I've been training and that's why I'm here."
Minister of Education and Research Dan Perciun praised the event and its significance for the sport: "We are happy to see so many interested athletes. Judo is highly respected in Moldova for the results that our athletes achieve. We value this and will continue to invest in the sport."
Following a day of intense competition, the top judokas were awarded medals and diplomas, marking the culmination of another successful national championship for Moldovan judo.
Translation by Iurie Tataru