misses Games team, by Chris Roots - 27th March
Wollongong's Mick Cutajar came
within one fight of making the Australian Olympic
judo team at the Oceania Championship in Christchurch
39-year-old went down in the 100kg final to Victorian
Matt Celotti, losing the opportunity to be one
of the biggest stories at the Beijing Games.
has turned his life around since being the cell
mate of serial killer Ivan Milat in Long Bay Jail,
where he spent three years as "a young bloke"
on an armed robbery charge.
has since become a family man and completed a
degree at Wollongong University and is already
targeting the 2012 London Olympics.
had five hours between the rounds and the final
to think about things - all the things I have
done and how hard I had worked to get to where
I was," Cutajar said.
not the end for me because a lot of people get
this close and then go on to represent at the
had beaten New Zealand's World Cup champion Andrew
Pragnell during the rounds in a major upset and
took an early lead in the final.
Celotti forced a penalty on Cutajar then scored
an eight-point throw to take a lead the Wollongong
warrior could not peg back.
is a great young player and he forced me to concede
a penalty," Cutajar said. "I did my
best against the best that were in the running
for the Olympic team, but the better man won on
have sealed a reserve position and if anything
happens to Matt I will be included in the Olympic
not going to retire because I have proven myself
against the best now and I feel like I'm still