TRINIDAD and Tobago judoka Gabriella Wood is eager for her Olympic debut, on Thursday. Wood will become the first TT woman to compete in the sport of judo at the Olympic Games.
Wood, 23, will fight in the women’s +78kg category which gets underway at 10 pm, on Thursday (TT time).
“I’m really excited to have made it to the Olympic Games,” Woods told Newsday in a WhatsApp message on Thursday morning.
Wood is knowledgeable about the history of the sport and is elated she will compete at Nippon Budokan – the venue for Thursday’s judo.
“This is the pinnacle of my sport and to be able to compete in the Nippon Budokan where judo was first introduced as an Olympic sport is an honour.”
At the 1964 Olympic Games judo was introduced as an Olympic sport and Nippon Budokan was the venue.
Wood, who is based in Scotland under coach Lee Calder, will battle against Maryna Slutskaya of Belarus in the seventh fight scheduled in the category.
Slutskaya is expected to be a tough opponent for the former Holy Name Convent student as she won gold at the 2017 European Championships and at the 2019 European Games.
Wood closed by saying, “I am really just going to go out there have fun and do judo, focus on one match at a time and not stress about anything.”
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