Georgia wins gold at first day of Judo Grand Slam in Tbilisi

Georgia wins gold at first day of Judo Grand Slam in Tbilisi

Judo stars from around the world arrived in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi for its edition eagerly awaited Judo Grand Slam.

The iconic event was held at the Olympic Sports Palace.

At -48kg Hyekyeong Lee of Korea overcame France’s Laura Espadinha when a superb, low Ura-nage scored ippon to take the title.

IJF Education & Coaching Director, Mohammed Meridja was on hand to award the medals.

At -60kg Nurkanat Serikbayev took on Yam Wolczak in the final. A sacrifice technique proved to be the deciding factor for Serikbayev as he scored waza-ari close to the end of the match and held on for victory.

He was awarded his medal by Shengeli Pitskhelauri, Georgia State Security Service Deputy Head.

“So this is the first competition in Tbilisi for me. And it was successful. I am very happy about this. I like the city. It’s very nice and friendly,” said Serikbayev.

At -52kg Ariane Toro Soler faced Ana Viktorija Puljiz.

It took until golden score, but Toro Soler mustered up the strength to produce a huge Uchi-mata and take the gold medal.

She was awarded her medal by Juan Carlos Barcos, IJF Co-ordinator for International Refereeing Seminars.

“I like it here because I got the gold, but it’s a good city, and it’s beautiful to stay here. It’s really good that the people love Judo, because it’s beautiful to see that they love this sport,” said Toro Soler.

Ivan Chernykh shocked everyone in the -66kg category, taking the gold in what was his first outing on the IJF World Judo Tour.

The medals were awarded by Massimiliano D'Antuono, Ambassador for Italy in Georgia.

Liparteliani (GEO) throws Perisic (SRB) to reach the semi-final.
Liparteliani (GEO) throws Perisic (SRB) to reach the semi-final. - IJF

Then came the moment all Georgian fans were waiting for.

At -57kg home favourite Eteri Liparteliani made it to the final where she would face off against former world champion Jessica Klimkait from Canad.

To the crowd’s delight, Liparteliani scored early in the fight and battled valiantly until the timer ran down.

She was awarded the gold medal by Irakli Medzmariashvili, Member of Parliament of Georgia.

Two more days of Judo still left to go.