Abu Dhabi: UAE Olympic bronze medallist Sergiu Toma and compatriot Ivan Remarenco’s final build-up event ahead of Asian Games ended in disappointment as both made an early exit in the Budapest Grand Prix on Sunday.
Toma, who has slipped to 171 in the World Rankings, lost out in the first round of the 90-kg weight category to Slovakia’s World No. 45 Peter Zilka.
Remarenco’s surge in the 100kg ended in the second round — losing to Russian World No. 16 Niiaz Bilalov. Remarenco had defeated Simeon Catharina of the Netherlands in round one.
Despite the setback, the general secretary of the UAE Wrestling, Judo and Kick Boxing Federation, Naser Al Tamimi, is not perturbed about the duo’s chances in Jakarta.
“The competition was a final warm-up but what was important for them was the build-up. They have come out of this in one piece and that’s very important for us,” said Al Tamimi adding it wasn’t about ‘winning or losing’ in the tournament.
“We were not after results from the onset.
We still believe both Sergiu and Ivan remain potential medal prospects for us at the Asian Games, along with Victor Scvortov who has been preparing in Japan.”
Al Tamimi speaking on Toma’s slip in the world ranking said: “Sergiu is returning from a back injury and hasn’t competed in many ranking events.
“He’s been preparing for the Asian Games and he’s in good shape to reach the medal rounds.
“We have two weeks for the Games. We have an experienced trio and they know what they are doing. We are confident they will deliver for us.”
Japan has also risen as a strong contender for Asian Games after an impressive show in Budapest Grand Prix. They claimed nine gold and four silver from the 14 finals for both men and women category.
Hungary was second with two gold while Russia, Cuba and Brazil finished with one gold each.