Cyprus wins first gold at Birmingham 2022

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Team Cyprus is celebrating its first gold taking its medal tally to four at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

It is also the first gold Cyprus has ever won at the Games for Judo.

Cyprus has now jumped to 12 in the medal table after teenager Georgios Balarjishvili won the gold medal in Judo in the 66kg category, beating the 20-year-old Scottish judoka Finlay Allan in the final.

The only previous medal for Judo at the Commonwealth Games was a silver won by 19-year-old Balarjishvili’s coach, Christos Christodoulides, in 2002 in Manchester.

Petros Christodoulides secured fourth place in the 60kg category, losing out in the bronze medal match to India’s Vijay Kumar Yadav by ippon.

In the semi-final, Balarjishvili defeated Alexander Short, also from Scotland, again by wazari.

Christodoulides, competing with an injury problem, managed to reach the semi-final of the 60kg category, losing to England’s Samuel Hall by ippon.

In women’s Judo, Sophia Asvesta reached the “8” stage in the 52kg category, coming 7th.

Cyprus secured its third medal and first silver in Birmingham with Sokratis Pikakouris in the Men’s Rings.

England won the Gold Medal with Courtney Tulloch and Canada the Bronze with Chris Kaji.

Pilakouris, with an excellent performance, got 14,300 points, 6,100 for Difficulty and 8,300 for Execution, just 100 behind Tulloch.

Afterwards, the 23-year-old gymnast said it was the biggest success of his career as it was the first time he secured a medal in an international competition at individual level.

“I feel perfect, I still haven’t realised it, and when I realise it, I will go crazy.”