In terms of international judo, the third day of the Grand Slam tournament in Tbilisi was another amazing one for host country Georgia as the heavyweights stepped up.
At -90kg, Beka Gviniashvili was on fire, a combination of smart sweeps and brute strength earned the Georgian a place in the final against Christian Toth, and once there another sweep brought him gold.
It was a fantastic display of sportsmanship, a display of the typical judo values of friendship and respect, causing the eager crowd to stand up to honor the memory of the two great warriors.
The medals were presented by the President of the Georgian Judo Federation Giorgi Atabegashvili.
The current 78kg world champion Anna Maria Wagner continued her brilliant return to competition by demonstrating uchi-mata as she fought her way through the preliminary competition.
In the final, the German judoka faced former world champion Mayra Aguiar from Brazil, where her determination and drive brought her a decisive victory. Wagner has not lost a fight on the Judo World Tour since he became world champion.
She was awarded a medal IFD Events Director, Dr. Lisa Allan.
“I think we will see at the World Cup. So, I hope I will give 100% at the World Championships, and then we’ll see, ”Wagner said after her victory.
One of the strongest categories in Georgia is up to 100 kg, and Onise Saneblidze is always at the forefront of this fierce competition. And on this occasion, he finally stepped forward to take his first ever Grand Slam gold.
In the final, it was the largest pickup truck, which made it stand out in the minds of the home audience.
Awarded with a medal by Vice-President of the Georgian Judo Federation Tamaz Naveriani.
“I can’t even describe this feeling,” an enthusiastic Saneblidze explained. “These emotions show how much Georgians love judo. Many thanks to them for the fantastic support and this fantastic atmosphere here in the Tbilisi gym.”
In the +78kg weight class, France’s Giulia Tolofua took on Tunisia’s Nichel Cheikh Ruhou to win the gold medal, receiving an award from IJF Director of Education and Coaching Mohamed Merij.
In the +100kg category, last year’s heavyweight winner Gela Zaalishvili defended his title phenomenally. The stadium was filled with deafening screams of enthusiastic Georgian fans, which was an incredible conclusion to the epic tournament. The medals were presented by IJF Chief Referee Director Armen Bagdasarov.
The fantastic element of the Grand Slam tournament in Tbilisi is that the home country can proudly stand on a podium and at the same time put on a spectacular show.