Story by Delle Chan/Red Sports. Photos by Thomas Tan/Red Sports

YOG Judo

Singapore’s Lim Chin Jie (in white) tries to keep ahead of Greece’s Alexios Ntanatsidis’s holds. In the meantime, Alexios was about to make several leg-sweeping attacks. (Photo 1 © Thomas Tan/Red Sports)

International Convention Centre (Hall 404), Sunday, August 22, 2010 – Singapore’s 17-year-old judokas Lim Chin Jie and Tang Jing Fang failed to make it past the repechages of the Judo Boys 81kg and Judo Girls 52kg categories respectively.

In the preliminaries, Chin Jie was up against Alexios Ntanatsidis from Greece. It was a closely contested bout, as the two judokas engaged in lengthy sparrings, with neither being really able to find a breakthrough. However, with 1 minute 6 seconds left on the clock, Ntanatsidis finally managed to overpower Chin Jie, pinning him on the ground to win an ippon and secure the match.

After the match, Chin Jie said, “I tried my best just now but the better man won. I will try my best for the repechage later.”

However, in the repechage, Chin Jie fell again, this time to Rijad Dedeic from Montenegro. Dedeic managed to get onto the scoreboard first just 18 seconds into the game, wrestling Chin Jie to the ground. He repeated the feat two more times soon after, thereby scoring two waza-aris to win the match.

When asked about his second performance, Chin Jie said, “I think I held out well in the beginning of the match but he had a better grip. I think it all boiled down to who had more experience.” He also revealed that he had been suffering from a shoulder injury, but did not consider it the main cause of his defeat.

Overall, though, Chin Jie is remaining positive. He added: “I think that the YOG has been a good experience as it is a world-class event with high standards. It is a great learning opportunity.”

When questioned about the road ahead, Chin Jie revealed: “I will be resting and catching up on my studies. Perhaps I will aim for the SEA Games in three years time.”

Chin Jie’s counterpart, Tang Jing Fang, was also unable to advance to the next round, after losing to Anna Dmitrieva from Russia and Jennet Geldybayeva from Turkmenistan.

In Jing Fang’s preliminary match, her opponent Dmitrieva drew first blood after just 16 seconds, pinning her to the floor for a waza-ari. After 50 seconds, Dmitrieva threw the Singaporean to the floor to score an ippon, winning the bout.

Jing Fang put up a far more impressive display in the repechages, when she was pitted against Jennet Geldybayeva of Turkmenistan. The two judokas put up a gritty showing during the match, with each stubbornly refusing to yield to the other. The match eventually had to enter the Golden Score phase — a sudden death situation where the first judoka to achieve any score wins.

With just 28 seconds left on the clock in the Golden Score phase, Geldybayeva finally attained a breakthrough, pinning the spirited Jing Fang to the ground to score an ippon, thus showing the host the exit from the competition.

After her match, a visibly exhausted and regretful Jing Fang commented: “I was very tired and not at my best. I thought that I could win the bout, and should have pushed harder.”

Like her compatriot, Chin Jie, Jing Fang will be taking some time off the competitive scene to concentrate on her studies and prepare for her ‘A’ Levels next year.

The medal placings for judo will be held this evening at the International Convention Centre (Hall 404).

YOG Judo

In imminent danger of being pinned down by Alexios, Chin Jie had precious seconds to come up with a counter-move, but finally succumbed to the attack. (Photo 2 © Thomas Tan/Red Sports)

YOG Judo

Chin Jie grapples hard but was unable to drag Alexios down onto the mat. Alexios won the match by ippon. (Photo 3 © Thomas Tan/Red Sports)

YOG Judo

Singapore’s Tang Jing Fang tussles with Russia’s Anna Dmitrieva and narrowly avoids being slammed here. (Photo 4 © Thomas Tan/Red Sports)

YOG Judo

Jing Fang angles for a throw. (Photo 5 © Thomas Tan/Red Sports)

YOG Judo

Chin Jie found it difficult to secure firm holds on Montenegro’s Rejad Dedeic during their repechage match. Rejad won the match by ippon by being awarded two waza-ari and one yuko by the judges. (Photo 6 © Thomas Tan/Red Sports)

YOG Judo

Turkmenistan’s Jennet Geldbayeva gets ready to throw Jing Fang during their repechage match … (Photo 7 © Thomas Tan/Red Sports)

YOG Judo

… but suddenly found herself in trouble as Jing Fang gets the better of her. (Photo 8 © Thomas Tan/Red Sports)

YOG Judo

Despite losing the match during golden time (sudden death), Singaporean supporters stood by Jing Fang for putting up a tough fight.(Photo 9 © Thomas Tan/Red Sports)