Well I just finished the Sao Paulo World cup here in Brazil, and it seems my bad luck continues for 2011. Going into the event I felt good, everything seemed to be in line for a great tournament and my weight has been really good so I didn't actually have to cut any weight at all, which is always nice. Anyways I was seeded number one on the draw which just means that I had the highest world ranking of any player who was fighting in this world cup.
At world cup events only the top 8 people are seeded so having seeding is very important with how the new draw system works. In the past with the old rules, if you lose to someone who makes the semi final, you were "pulled" back in to the draw and had a chance for the bronze. But in the past couple of years the IJF has made some extremely dumb rules changes, and one of those is the quarter final rule, all this rule mean is that you have to make the quarter final in order to have a chance to make the podium. So even if you lose to the guy who wins, if its before the quarter final your day is done!!This rule is used for the World championships, Olympics and World cups. But to make things even more confusing the IJF(international Judo Federation) made the Grand Slam events - single round knock out, meaning if you lose your done.. so in order to place you have to make the semi final. No one knows why, that's just how it is..
What really sucks is that NO ATHLETE really like the system, because it's an unfair system. Like I said before if you lose to the guy who wins the tournament - then you dont have a chance to be on the podium - but in reality you could actually be the 2nd best person in the draw but still have no chance to place because you lost before the quarter final or in Grand Slam events the semi final.
Anyways so as I was saying I was seeded number one in this World Cup, but ended up getting a very very tough draw. In the first round, I fought a guy from greece, who I beat by wazari. In the 2nd round however I ran into the 66kg world champion from Mongolia, this fighter is one of the best in any division for judo and he is known for being very tricky. He decided to fight 73kg this past weekend because he has a lot of problems making weight for 66kg so sometimes he fights 73kg(which is my category). This is actually the 2nd time I have fought him. In our first fight I beat him by yuko and ippon but at this event he got the best of me and beat me with a score of 3shidos to 1shido, putting me out of the event because it was one match away from the quarter finals. He ended up making the gold medal final against the real 73kg mongolian - so his team mate. They actually fought but in overtime he lost to the top 73kg Mongolian. The rest of the podium was people who I have beat before. So that kind of sucks.
Judo as most of you know is not based on time so you cant actually know if you were good, great or bad - its all feel. You can fight great and still come away with nothing, judo when you look at it can really be disheartening for someone who puts in the time and effort but is just not winning.
2011 has been tough for me. From injury to injury, to just not getting the job done! whatever the reasons may be, i'm working on it - and hopefully ill get out of it soon. This weekend in miami I am aiming to not only get back on the podium but win. I won this world cup last year in a tough field so hopefully I can repeat and get myself back on track! The goal is to get my world ranking up into the top 8 again for world championships so I can be seeded - so these next 3 world cups will be important, right now i'm 10th. :P
As for everything else well I am planning a Golf Tournament in September, so keep that in mind, were trying to get as many people involved as possible!! If you have any questions please send me an email at email@example.com - We are looking for Donations, Door prizes, hole sponsors, and of course teams! As everyone knows its not cheap to be competing and travelling this much, so we are making the Golf Tournament a fund raiser to help offset some of the costs.
Some people don't know but the Judo olympic qualifying process is crazy - we have to go all over the world to pick up points towards the Olympic and world ranking, because only the top 22 people in the world can qualify for the olympics - the draw will be made up of the top 22ppl plus about 10 wild cards to different countries that are not represented - so that means only a 32man draw!! the best of the best!!
Other then my judo life, my daughter Emma is growing up to be a little fighter herself, she is a little over 16 months now and doing great! My girlfriend and I also decided to purchase a house just outside of Montreal, we figured it would be better to have a yard and somewhere for our daughter to grow up in and call home. Also it turns out rent in montreal is about how much you would pay to own something on the south shore.. so other then the little commute, it works out pretty good! well I will update you with Miami etc, when i'm there...
Thanks for reading..