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Katua wins hearts in Rio

BOXER Thadius Katua was probably the better of the two Team PNG athletes who bowed out of the Rio Olympics in their respective sports.
Katua and judoka Raymond Ovinou were the first to complete their sports yesterday morning.
Ovinou was up first in judo in the 66kg category but lost through an Ippon (full point) with Uchi-mata (throw), a move made by his opponent which saw him declared the winner.
Ovinou was apologetic in defeat, feeling he had let PNG down, but considering that his opponent, Canadian Antoine Bouchard, went on to fight for the bronze medal, a positive result against this high calibre opponent was always going to be a tough ask.
The man from Gereka — and PNG’s first judoka to compete at the Olympics — will continue to be a mentor for other PNG judo athletes and work with PNG Judo Federation to run their coaching and development programmes.

Katua may be defeated but his performance won many Brazillian hearts, going down to his Russian opponent, Adlan Abdurashidov.
In the opening round, he lost on points 29-28. He scored the same in the second round but the Russian came back strong to win the final round 30-27
However, the majority of those watching the fight in the Rio Centro Pavillion 6 arena felt the Papua New Guinean deserved the win.
The vocal Brazilian crowd, who had been chanting Katua’s name throughout the bout, made their opinion known when the judges’ decision was announced, with a loud chorus of boos echoing in the arena.
Assistant coach and manager Joe Aufa said: “The crowd are also judges.
“They watched the fight and they knew that Katua won.
“We all knew Katua won.”
The 19-year-old from the Carteret Islands in Bougainville, was disappointed after his bout, believing he had done enough to claim victory,
“Mi bilip olsem mi winim dispela pait (I was sure that I had won the fight),” Katua said.
Coach Allan Nicolson felt Katua had done enough to progress to the next round.
“It is disappointing as we felt Katua had dominated his opponent for a majority of the fight,” Nicolson said.
“He was able to display his immense talent.
We mustn’t forget that he’s only 19-years-old and was taking on an experienced Russian fighter seven years his senior.”
Rio 2016 is Katua’s first Olympics but he will no doubt be gracing the Olympic stage once again and his opponents will be wary of coming up against him.
Already with the future in mind, Katua will make the most of his remaining time in Rio by continuing his training, observing the other bouts and sparring against other
PNG’s lightweight Thadius Katua lost to Russian Adlan Abdurashidov in his Olympic debut yesterday. The Russian won an unanimous decision 3-0. Press Release

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