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Tommy Macias gives Sweden Olympic medal aspirations

23 Jun 2019 20:50

   Christian Fidler
20190623_minsk_cf_73kg_a34z8917_tommy_macias

Tommy Macias wrote history for Sweden as he captured the European Games title U73kg. In 2010 it was Marcus Nyman who was the first Swede to win the European gold, but this one will taste sweet on a day that Sweden captured two medals as Anna Bernholm won bronze for women U70kg.

In the toughest division with 41 men Tommy Macias had a good draw but what is good if you meet with Anthony Zingg in the first contest. The tough German used all Macias’ time and took him into the golden score but Macias progressed. After Frigyes Szazbo (HUN) Macias was opposed to another tough cookie, Tohar Butbul who showcased an awesome match in Düsseldorf against Olympic Champion Ono, but Macias caught him after three minutes. Olympic Champion U66kg and double European medallist Lasha Shavdatuashvili (GEO) was the semi final opponent and again deep in the extra time it was Macias to score. Macias gives commentary on his final match against Rustam Orujov, the Olympic finalist of 2016.

How do you feel?

Macias: "It's amazing, I can't believe it so far. I won Grand Slam and Grand Prix titles before, but not European championships. I have been bronze medallist two times before. This was my first time in the final and my first gold medal."

You knew you could reach the final didn’t you?

Macias: "I am one of the top names in the category, but when I was fighting against Rustam Orujov, I was nervous. I lost four times to him before, but I beat him once. So I knew I could beat him. It is a really important victory for me when I fight against such a strong opponent in the final.

At first, when he scored, I thought I really have to try something. Then I thought I threw him for Ippon, but I can understand that it was not ippon. Then I threw him again and I was really sure I was going to get the score. I could hear the audience. They were booing. I thought they also think I should have gotten the score. So That was nice, for the first time I had the audience on my side. I could hear his fans all the time.

In the last situation, he was starting the attack, I tried to counter him, he tried to counter again. For me it felt like forever, standing in this position. Then maybe one second before I threw him I thought, now I'm having this and they cannot take that away from me."

You are only the second ever winner for Sweden

Macias: "I hope it means a lot. We had one European champion before, I think I am the second one indeed after Marcus Nyman."

Rustam Orujov was sad after a silver medal, he know how it is to win the title, he took it in 2016 and won bronze in 2017, but at least won his last contest, this time he was close at winning but the gold slipped out of his hands. Azerbaijan won silver and bronze with Hidayet Heydarov on the podium as well.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Tommy Macias (SWE) - European Games Minsk (2019, BLR) - © Christian Fidler
  • Rustam Orujov (AZE), Tommy Macias (SWE), Georgios Azoidis (GRE), Hidayet Heydarov (AZE) - European Games Minsk (2019, BLR) - © Christian Fidler
  • Tommy Macias (SWE) - World Championships Baku (2018, AZE) - © JudoHeroes

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