UAE judoka Victor Scvortov faces a tough opening round against Tommy Marcias in the men’s 73-kilogram category when he begins his medal hunt at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Monday.
Scvortov, 33, will be determined to avenge his defeat to the Swede in the round of 16 clash at the World Championships in Budapest in June. Back then Marcias, 28, went on to reach the final before losing to Georgia’s Lasha Shavdatuashvili.
Nasser Al Tamimi, general secretary of UAE Wrestling and Judo Federation, believes Scvortov has learned his lessons from the defeat.
“I don’t think the past results matter as we see results reversed on many occasions,” Al Tamimi, who is also a member of the International Judo Federation, told The National from the Olympic Village in Tokyo.
“Victor’s meeting with Marcias was very close, losing only in the last 10 seconds of that contest. And understandably there was a lot of anxiety with the Olympics just over six weeks away.
“Nobody wants to throw away more than four years of hard work. It arguably was a final prep for Victor. He arrived in Tokyo in great shape and he’s confident of a good result.
“However, we are quietly confident in Victor’s abilities to bounce back. His focus certainly is on the first opponent, and hopefully it will be in his favour.”
Scvortov and Marcias have both drawn first round byes and meet in the Round of 32.
If successful, Scvortov will meet either Swiss Nils Stump or the winner of the Round of 64 clash between Akil Gjakova of Kosovo and Yemen's Ahmed Ayash.
The UAE’s second judoka, Ivan Remarenco, meets Canadian Shady Elnahas in the Round of 32 in the 100kg division on Thursday.
Remarenco, 32, will use all of his experience when facing the 23-year-old Egypt-born judoka, who finished a creditable fifth at the Worlds in June.
“Ivan has had a few injury issues but has fully recovered and he comes after a fifth-place finish in the Asia-Oceania in April,” Al Tamimi said.
“Victor and Ivan have both trained hard since Rio. They have done well to qualify for the Olympics and now we’ll have to wait and see what they bring to the table.
“As a federation we have done our best. If they can reach the medal rounds, it will be an achievement. If not, we have tried.”
Judo fetched the UAE its second Olympic medal when Sergui Toma bagged bronze at Rio 2016, after the shooting gold won by Sheikh Ahmed bin Hasher in double trap at Athens 2004.
On Sunday, Emirati shooter Saif bin Futtais was in action in the men’s skeet but was unable to make it past the first day of the qualifier.