American Samoa Judoka learns from Games Experience
By Matt Bowcott of The Reporters' Academy.
The Excel centre in East London played host to the Judo competition. Anthony Liu, American Samoa's judoka, was ready to take to the tatami ‘mat’ to compete for his country in the Men’s -100kg at the Olympic Games.
Drawn against Jevgenijs Borodavko of Latvia who is ranked 15th in the world, Anthony had a battle on his hands. As the athletes walked out to the arena floor for the start of the match, the audience got behind each athlete, willing them to do well. The crowds were roaring, keen for the players to start, the referee got the match underway by shouting Hajime ‘begin’, as the match began Jevgenijs performed Ippon, this is the highest score and move a Judoka can achieve meaning the match was stopped and Anthony was out of the competition.
Anthony spoke afterwards about what he can take away from the match, ‘I have tried my best today and I have no regrets. I know some of my techniques went wrong today and I know what I need to focus on for the future, this was a great learning experience for me.’
Even though Anthony is out of the competition, the whole process has been an invaluable learning experience, which he is to use as a stepping stone to future games. ‘I have loved being here, and I can take everything I have learnt here and improve even more and look ahead to Rio.’