Exactly 10 years ago, Beijing was hosting the Summer Olympic Games, where Alina Dumitru won the first gold medal for Romania
Exactly 10 years ago, Beijing was hosting the Summer Olympic Games, where Alina Dumitru won the first gold medal for Romania in the 48 kg category of the judo competitions.
The Romanian athlete displayed an outstanding performance before no less than 6000 spectators, gathered in the sports hall of the Beijing University of Science and Technology. That flawless performance eventually won her the gold medal. Alina's first opponent was the Hungarian Eva Czernovicki. The Romanian started her offensive rather late, half into the game. Less than two minutes before the end of the game, she managed a waza ari that proved crucial.
There followed, in the quarter finals, the confrontation with the Korean Youngran Kim. The fight was balanced for about three and a half minutes, and then Alina won by means of an ippon, and qualified to the semifinals. In that round of the competition Alina had to take on the multiple Olympic champion Ryko Tani, of Japan, a living legend in the world of judo. Both athletes tackled the confrontation cautiously, avoiding risky moves, and both of them received two warnings from the referee. Then Ryoko Tani received a third warning, which was the equivalent of a waza ari for Alina, and therefore influenced the final score.
In the fight for the gold medal, Alina Dumitru faced Yanet Bermoy of Cuba, whom she defeated effortlessly and was declared the winner upon achieving a judgment of ippon. The first interview that Alina gave right after leaving the tatami was exclusively for Radio Romania International.
Alina Dumitru: "It was a bit difficult, but everything came out well in the end. I cannot believe it, I didn't expect to finish that fast, but I did. I've always wanted to win this Olympic title and I worked hard for it. So, now my dream has come true. I would like to dedicate this victory to my trainer first and foremost, because he has helped me get so far. Then, I must thank my parents, my boyfriend and all those who have been so supportive."
Alina Dumitru was born on August 30th, 1982, in Bucharest. She started judo at the age of 12. As of 2004, she has been the best in her category, at European level, with no less than 8 titles. Her achievement in Beijing is the biggest in Alina's career and in the history of Romanian judo. The next big achievement was the silver medal that she won at the Olympic Games in London, in 2012.