ORAN – Algerian judo had the merit of ending nearly 13 years of drought thanks to its rising star, Driss Messaoud, who gave Algeria its only gold medal in the Mediterranean Games (JM) since the 2009 edition in Pescara (Italy), on the occasion of the Oran 2022 edition which is still continuing.
A performance that earned Driss Messaoud the acclaim of all athletes, including officials of the Algerian Judo Federation, like the national technical director, Samir Sbaa, who described the participation of Algerian judo as “very positive”. in the Oran JM thanks in particular to the performance of the resident of an amateur sports club (CSA) Ouled El Bahia.
“The gold medal won by Driss is of great value, since it allows our judo to reconnect with the vermeil that it has not won since the edition of Pescara in 2009. During the two previous editions, we were content with two bronze medals”, he recalled in a statement to APS after the judo tournament ended Friday at the Mohamed-Benahmed Convention Center.
But fans of this sport expected a better harvest in this Mediterranean sporting mass, especially since it takes place at home, and especially since the Algerian judokas had dominated, just a few weeks ago, the championship of Africa also held in Oran.
But on arrival, the national team was content with a gold medal, two silver (Belrakaa and Bouamar) and a final bronze (Belkadi).
“It’s a very interesting harvest in view of the level that prevailed in this judo tournament, which saw the participation of international champions, which made it difficult for our athletes to carry out their mission. come out as a whole,” explained the Algerian technician.
He did not omit, in passing, to praise the preparation carried out throughout a year, during which many courses were scheduled for the benefit of Algerian judokas, both in the country and abroad.
Asked about the disappointments recorded among the 14 judokas who took part in this edition, Samir Sbaâ indicated that “everyone gave the best of themselves, and are therefore to be congratulated”, continuing that the next objective of his athletes will be the Islamic Games which will begin in a few weeks in Turkey.
No less than 157 judokas, representing 23 countries, took part in the judo tournament on behalf of the 19th edition of the JM which will end on Wednesday.