Judo and Marjan Fabian Are the Golden Incubators of Slovenian Sports

The judoka Tina Trstenjak, a trainee of the well-known Slovenian coach Marjan Fabian, won the first gold medal for Slovenia at the current Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro. This is the first gold medal! The enthusiasm and joy reign in the camp of the Slovenian national delegation at the Summer Olympic Games 2016 after another sporting triumph of judoka Tina Trstenjak in the finals in the weight category of up to 63 kg. After winning the titles of the Champion of Europe (Kazan, 2016) and the World Champion (Astana, 2015), the athlete enriched her titles with the most prestigious sports award—the Olympic gold! Thus, this category of martial arts that originated 130 years ago in Japan has become the most fruitful kind of sports in terms of medal colours for Slovenia in the history of the Olympic Games. The rowers won by one medal more, but they have by one gold medal less.

Tina Trstenjak did not rest until the yesterday’s noon showdown. Her first rival, the Italian Edwige Gwend offered strong resistance, but was not very active and gained two penalty points that proved decisive. In the quarterfinals, the 12th number of the world ranking, the Chinese Junxia Yang was a tough nut, but a native of Celje, who turns 26 years old at the end of the month, kept the situation under control. From the very beginning, she received a minimal advantage, later continued with ippon, and then, having kept her opponent on the mat for 20 seconds, she advanced to the semifinals.

While during the first day of the Olympics, Andrian Gomboc did not have enough luck to win a medal and thus was left with nothing, Tina Trstenjak had a different story. In the semifinals, she met with a representative of the hosts Mariana Silva, who, having experienced a hot support from her native stands, would like to repeat the success of her compatriot Rafaela Silva, who had won another gold medal for Brazil a day earlier. However, the winner of the current Pan American Games was powerless against the Slovenian athlete. Tina dominated completely. At first, she gained a point for yuko, then made a successful hold against her rival and thus won an Olympic medal.

Like all her colleagues in the Areni Carioca 2 of the Barra Olympic Park, she did not give interviews to the media after the gruelling fights, and only after the final match, the athlete released her words and feelings…

At the end, she had to measure strength with the French Clarisse Agbegnenou, with whom she had once fought in the finals of the last World Cup. The dual meet outcome was foregone in the second minute, when the French got in the clutches, from which she could not escape.

“I have wonderful emotions. This is the dream of every athlete, and I made it come true. I have been dreaming about it for many years. I came here to win gold, and I did it. In fact, I only took what I owed given the past successes. Now I have a complete collection of gold medals from all the major events,” Tina Trstenjak shared her joy, who as a maximalist aims to take into account all the shortcomings, but without excessive criticizing. “The hardest part was to compete with the Brazilian judoka. The atmosphere was electric, and the opponent was super motivated. Despite this, I managed to tame her. At the end, I said to myself, “Now or never.” I know the French style well. Therefore, I took advantage of her weak point. It was a load off my mind after the victory. I am looking forward to when they will hang up our flag, and I want to hear our anthem “Zdravica”. I’m not sure I can hold back the tears of happiness.”

The Head of the Slovenian delegation Iztok Čop, who once had been a four-time Olympic champion in rowing, is encouraged by the success of Tina Trstenjak, “Again she is the first. Four days of competitions have passed. Much struggle is still ahead of us. I hope this medal is far from the last.”


Sources: delo.si, rtvslo.si