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Vine Fruit: Judoka Vine Primo already dreams of Paris 2024 | Israel today


After two shaky years, during which she became seriously ill in Corona and had to give up the dream of competing in Tokyo - judoka Geffen Primo re-occupies the mat • Since the beginning of the year she has managed to pick up bronze medals at the World and European Championships, and gold at the Grand Slam Paris. Salam Abu Dhabi - and already staring at the Paris Olympics 2024 • "Before Tokyo I felt the momentum of my life. I was on it, and I was disappointed. Now I told myself I was going to compete big again"

"When the anthem was played, I sang 'Hatikva' under the mask. This is the moment that everyone who competes is waiting for," Geffen Primo recalls excitedly.

"You should not think about it at the beginning of the competition, but you want to win, you want to see our flag go up. I was very happy that it happened. I saw everyone standing with me, the coaching staff, and I had a 'together' feeling, which we, the Israelis, very much Love. "

It is very tempting to fall for word games when it comes to Geffen (sister to Einav and Kerem), who is finally reaping the fruits of her hard work this year.

When she recreates her last moment of glory - winning the gold medal at the Paris Grand Slam in October - it's easy to forget the upheavals the 21-year-old judoka has undergone in the last two years.

Did you know you're coming to explode in Paris?

"It was a competition I was really looking forward to. I told myself I was going to compete again in a big way. I wanted to go back to something that is not depressing, and not 'let's see what happens to me,' but what we define as 'goal competition.' .

Who were you most afraid of?

"Mastrid Gento, the Frenchwoman I was facing in the final. I have already lost to her in the past (in the quarterfinals at the Grand Slam Kazan, Russia, May 2021, Sat.).

It was a battle I was waiting for because I wanted to give it back to her.

And that is exactly what happened. "

Now that she has the fresh medal from Paris, and is currently competing in the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam - Primo, who was absent from the Tokyo Olympics, knows that she will do her best not to miss the next Olympic Games, in Paris 2024.

"I have such a sweet taste left of Paris that I hope to return to it."

Bring gold?

"My expectations of myself will always be the highest, so I am not stressed by the expectations that come from outside. There is still a lot of time."

• • •

Today, when she is in good shape and after two corona vaccines and also a flu vaccine, Primo can recall the difficult moments she went through in the last two years.

It all started, of course, with the outbreak of the corona plague.

"We were in training camp ahead of the Olympics, and messages were starting to flow about a plague raging in the world and that the sky was starting to close," Primo recalls of how everything started to go wrong. He informed us that we were returning to Israel, and that we would live here in pairs so that we could practice under any conditions, and that we were given 'capsules' before there was such a thing.

Gili (Cohen, Shaz) was the partner of Shira (Rishoni), Timna (Nelson Levy) lived with a Japanese judoka (training rival) and I lived with Kerem, my sister, who is also a judoka.

We landed at the airport and went to load mattresses and home fitness equipment.

We got a work plan, and every day we practiced and worked.

Every morning started with a conversation and zoom training, and we continued with a sporty routine as a capsule, with the corona raging outside.

The whole house was mattresses, the house became our gym and training, no living room left.

The parents do everything for us, so the redesign of the house was small for them, "she laughs.

When the first lull in the global epidemic was recorded, and with Tokyo 2020 on the horizon, Primo began to return to routine.

"We started flying a bit and were exposed except for people, with no choice," she says.

“We had to report to the coaches every day how we were feeling, even though we saw almost no one from the outside.

"Every day we reported every touch. For me it started with a headache, a cold and then an earache. Every day I woke up with something else and thought it was sinusitis, because I was sensitive to the change of seasons, but it did not pass. , And I was not good. I saw that I could not catch them, that I was weak, that I was knocked down battle after battle and I flew. I did not stand on my feet. I was dragged, and I did not feel like I was stepping on the floor at all. In the Czech Republic, and I was tested, we found out I had a corona.

"I was upset. It was very unpleasant because I thought at first that because of me the whole team could not fly. We trained with each other. I knew I did not see anyone, I did not meet friends and I did not go to Friday dinners, I was the most lonely person of all because I had "A ticket to the Olympics, and I knew it was my duty to be saved. And in the end I still snatched Corona. The next day more positives were revealed in the team, so in the end I was not the only reason they did not travel."

How did you feel?

"I was not in a risk group, and yet I was very ill. I was in bed, exhausted. My head hurt a lot, I experienced muscle aches. I did not know what day it was, it was terrible. For three weeks I could not move. Nothing would clarify the difficulty of this disease. .

"My dad brought me special Dead Sea oils to make it easier for me to breathe. We did everything we could. I was in touch with the team nutritionist who gave me a menu because I had to eat, otherwise I would have disappeared, but I had no sense of taste and smell. I ate and still lost weight. I I do not recommend it as a diet, it was terrible. "

In the final battle of the Grand Slam Paris against Astrid Gento.

"It was a battle I was waiting for because I wanted to give it back. And that's exactly what happened," Photo: GettyImages

But the iPhone is not waiting for anyone, and while Primo lay in bed her teammates continued in their sporting routine of life.

"After the illness I had to go back gradually. At first I walked, I ran slowly, 5 minutes like that. Everything was super slow. I put on the suit, gave a bow, did some exercises, whatever I could, and went back to sitting. And in that time, when I was barely functioning, I had to achieve My ticket to the Olympics.

"For almost half a year I did a performance show. Shani did 'experiments' on me, in order to see how I came back to myself. No one knew what to do, there were no studies, we were not after all the vaccinations. He saw what was happening in the field, due to me seeing How do I get back to the shape I was in, check how much I sleep, what I eat.

"Gradually there was improvement. There was slow progress. Even after I did training I went to sleep at home for five hours. I knew Shani was working on me, that he was doing me a light workout on purpose to make me feel good about myself, that I felt successful, but we both knew he bluffed me. It took a long time. Until I got out of it and reset myself. "

Are you one hundred percent back to yourself?

"When I came back I was not 100 percent 'clean.' "Precisely initiating, erupting, and it took me a while to get back to what I was."

When Primo regained her composure, so did the achievements: a bronze medal at the European Championships in Lisbon in April 2021, and a bronze medal at the World Championships in Budapest in June 2021, about a month before the Tokyo Olympics.

On June 16, 2021, the World Judo Association published the list of Israeli athletes on the delegation.

Despite her accomplishments, and the fact that she met the Olympic criteria, Primo's name was missing from the list.

Due to the restriction of one athlete to the country in one weight category (Primo competes in the weight category up to 52 kg), the Olympic Committee and the Achievement Sports Unit chose her teammate, judoka Gili Cohen.

Primo, who found herself outside the Tokyo dream, published a post on social media in June 2021: "Following the postponement of the Olympic Games, they reopened the Olympic criteria for a period of four months, close to the time I was positive for Corona. No one except my parents and coach knew until "How bad my condition was. During those four months, I struggled to get back on my feet, and gradually get back to exercising without my body collapsing. But the recovery from the disease took much longer than I had."

You were hoping to fly right up until the last minute.

"It was a bit inhuman situation. You always hope for the best, but it was a situation where I could not change anything. The criterion has already been set, and the only thing that could change it is a court decision, but there were no clauses that fit the situation I was in, no. There was no reference to Corona.

"My athletic approach made me fight to the end, knowing I did my one hundred percent to be in Tokyo. I wanted to finish the best campaign for me - but that's the criterion set, so for Hershko and Ponti (Moshe Ponti, chairman of the Judo Association, Q." G) There was nothing to do about it to change my situation.If in March they thought otherwise, or understand that there is an epidemic here that they know nothing about and do not know how it will affect the future, then maybe they would leave an opening for such cases.They did not think about a situation Such at all. "

Did you feel ready?

"I felt the momentum of my life. I was on it. In every competition I felt better and better, I was on the rise. In judo it is impossible to know, I can not know if I would return with a medal from Tokyo, but I know I was in meteoric improvement. If I got there Feeling good, after I managed to hit every goal on the way, I would arrive in Tokyo with a lot of excitement and hope to win.

"If you get to the Olympics, then only after a preparation like the one I went through. It was a perfect preparation. Two bronze medals said I was ready."

Did you watch the games?

"No. I flew to Greece with my brother and my mother."

How is your relationship with the girls team?

"Our relationship has always been really good. Just because I did not see the Olympics does not mean I was not with them. I wrote to them and talked to them, they know I have always been with them and there has been no tension since. I had a very hard time, but I did not mix them with my sadness. I care if they fly, I was disappointed for myself that I was not there. "

And how is your relationship with Gili Cohen?

"Gili retired right after the Olympics, and I haven't had a chance to meet her or talk to her since. Before that we had a good relationship, but these are battles of our lives. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for her."

On the podium in Paris.

"I wanted to go back to what we define as 'goal competition,'" Photo: GettyImages

• • •

She grew up in Gan Shomron and today lives in Moshav Udim with her father Ofir, an independent contractor, Emma Meirav, an accountant, her brother Einav (18) who trained in judo for years and her sister Kerem (16) who walks in Geffen's path.

"At first she did not want to, but we recognized that she had great potential. The coaches got excited about her, and in the end she was on fire."

Is there a chance you will meet on the mattress?

"Fortunately, no. Kerem is in the 57 kg category.

She's taller than me, she has a different physique, she's physically bigger than me, and that's not going to happen.

We do not want that in the family. "

What is the meaning of your special names?

"Even before I was born, my parents knew that if they had a daughter, they would call her Geffen. Later, living near Binyamina, in such a pastoral atmosphere, brought them additional names. I really like my name, it is a unique name. Abroad, I am often asked what a vine is. "It's not a name like 'Maria'."

Geffen with her brother Einav and her sister Kerem.

"We will not meet on the mat,"

From the age of four she has been on the mat, and from the age of 11 competing in competitions abroad ("Mother flew with me then, and even today I really do not like airplanes"). 'Du, and decided to give her all the conditions for success.

"Without my parents, I would not have achieved anything," she says.

"When I was little, my father sat and watched every training session. Even today, when I already have a license and he no longer has to drive me, he comes to training and competitions in the country and watches. My mother is emotionally supportive, prepares food for me and is there for me.

"They also moved an apartment for me from Magen Shomron to Kfar Netter because I trained twice a day, and it was an hour and a quarter drive in each direction, and we were all on the road all day. I was at school maybe 45 minutes a day, I barely learned, and my parents realized it was not possible. "In a professional way."

In 2015, when she was in the cadet stage, Primo was ranked first in the world at 52 kg. In 2017, she won a silver medal at the European Cadet Championships and a bronze medal at the European Under-21 Championships. In 2018, even before she turned 18, she won a bronze medal at the Grand Prix World in Morocco, and in the same year added a bronze medal in the seniors and another bronze medal in the European Cup.

Since recovering from Corona she has managed to pick up a bronze medal at the European Championships in Lisbon in April this year, and a bronze medal at the World Championships in Budapest in June.

Apart from the Grand Slam Abu Dhabi, a Champions League competition awaits Primo in December under the auspices of the French club Champagne.

Primo was the first to sign at the club of the industry-decorated athlete, Clarice Agbenino ("they were missing someone of my weight, so they contacted me and I was very happy"), and she is expected to meet on the mat the girls Raz Hershko and Timna Nelson Levy, who signed at the club this week Other.

Who are your models for success?

"When I was 12 I flew to London for the Olympics, and there I met Yael Arad and Arik Zeevi and I was in the clouds. I told them I wanted to be there, at the Olympics. I could not believe I met them in reality. I saw Eric compete and I think I took a little from everyone, I do not imitate anyone I saw how they deal with everything, and I learned.

"Later, I started training with the team with Jordan Jerby and saw how professional and committed she is to the goal. I was impressed by the excellent dynamics between her and Shani, and told myself that was what I wanted. I aspired to it. Before Jordan, the other did not have an Olympic medal. And now he wants gold. "

Tell me about the two Hershko.

"He's the best coach in the world, in my opinion. I train under Mert Margolis, who is also my sister's coach, but Shani and I have a connection from the first moment I joined the team. I know him from the age of 14, from Meitav Netanya, which is my club ever since. Our bond is getting stronger.I need to believe in him and he in me and trust each other, and the things we go through together build that bond.

"We went through the crisis of the Olympics together. He made me feel that I was not alone in this, he saw how hard it was for me and how painful it was for me, and he most understood me and gave me my time. He was just there.

"Judo was my most vulnerable place. I was fine at home, strong, but in judo everything always came out, and Shani is the one who should have seen me crying rivers of crying. Every day there is no such thing as crying on the mat, and I'm not crying either. "But it was an extraordinary situation and he let me unload everything I needed to contain this loss. It's something I will not forget."

With her parents, her sister Kerem and coach Shani Hershko.

"Without them I would not have achieved anything,"

What is your next destination?

"Everything we have not yet achieved is a goal for us. We do not have another European team champion, we have not yet won a gold medal at a world championship. So everything we have not yet wanted to do. In April 2022 we have the world championship in Bulgaria."

Will you succeed?

"I always felt a lot of paragon around, and I felt I was bringing a lot of pride. I have good conditions for success, everyone on the team and on the team is giving me everything he can for me to be the best."

In Tokyo, the issue of sexual abuse of female athletes has made headlines.

Experience harassment in judo?

"In the environment I grew up in, everyone was a professional, and there were no such things."

• • •

Its agenda includes a variety of workouts.

It begins at 7:00 a.m. with a running, physiotherapy or conversation with a nutritionist, continues with a rest at home or on the Wingate House of Representatives, and ends with a second workout until 8:00 p.m.

There are no breaks, and no vacations.

How to maintain a stable diet and weight?

"This is another thing I need to be a professional at. I'm working with a nutritionist, and he answers me at every hour to the question of what I can eat.

"Weight is an exact science. I expend energy and consume power. We usually weigh 4 kg more than necessary, and two to three weeks before the competition we lose weight according to a scientific method.

I know how to lose carbs, and run with sweat suits to lose weight.

It's hard, I'm not going to sleep seven like that, but it's part of my professionalism. "

And what about treats?

"I really like vanilla ice cream, and I can afford an ice cream scoop occasionally. Especially after competitions I allow myself to eat more."

This year, after graduating from the IDF as an outstanding athlete, she manages to find time for some hobbies as well. "I make sure I have time for myself as well.

If I'm in a good mood then my training is also better. "

What do you like to do when you have some free time?

"I, like everyone else, like to go to the mall, eat at restaurants, walk around Tel Aviv, watch movies, travel, meet friends. I love shopping, I came back from Paris with Uber White because I love shoes and clothes. And I also really like reading. I am addicted to smell. "Of new books. I read full, novels and books with a happy ending. I am a compulsive reader of JoJo Moyes."

"I would go to study psychology or physiotherapy or accounting, like my mother," Photo: Efrat Eshel

What about relationships?

"Right now I do not have a boyfriend. Start with me, but I do not go to bars or clubs, I do not have time for that. Most referrals are on Instagram and Facebook, but if you want to start with me you have to do something else, not sure I will even pay attention to such messages.

"The truth is that I'm very good at where I am, and I'm not missing a friend at the moment, but if he comes it's fine. The main thing is to be a guy for that matter. It does not matter to me his age or if he is an athlete.

When she walks through the airport she is not yet easily recognized ("I have an athlete's walk, sometimes people think I're Linoy Ashram"), but she already has sponsors - Danone Pro and Connecteam.

"They give me financial backing so I can focus on training."

Are you thinking about campaigns, social media collaborations?

"I like it, but I do not put every second. I like aesthetics and take care of my Instagram, I want everything to be fine and it is important to me that it looks good. But I do not upload a million posts or stories every day. I do not upload a photo from training every day, because "Obviously I train every day. I like to share, but not excessively. It feels to me like the Kardashian family, and it's less me."

Are there academic studies on the horizon?

"I really like to study and I want to combine studies. If I was not in judo I would go to study psychology or physiotherapy or accounting like my mother. But my focus right now is on judo, not degree. What I will learn will be a bonus, early for me right now To know where life will take me after judo. "

Finally, tell me something not everyone knows about you.

"At the age of 3 and a half I already wanted to start practicing judo, but I was too small. I just knew it would be my field. I remember deciding to be the best in the world in judo. When I was 8 I was interviewed before the Israeli Championships, and asked me what my dream was. "And I said I want to be the Israeli champion in both girls and boys."

Were we wrong?


If you find an error in the article, we will be happy for you to share it with us and we will correct it

Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2021-11-26

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