9 Aug 2016 - 13:22
Georgia has claimed its first medal at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Georgian judoka Lasha Shavdatuashvili defeated European Champion Sagi Muki of Israel overnight in the bronze medal match.
Shavdatuashvili, 24, was competing in the men’s 73kg category.
Earlier yesterday Shavdatuashvili defeated Russia’s Denis Yartsev in his Olympic campaign.
Georgian judoka Lasha Shavdatuashvili defeated European Champion Sagi Muki of Israel overnight in the bronze medal match. Photo by Georgian Judo Federation.
The match was intense and emotional but Shavdatuashvili overcame his opponent and several times slammed Yartsev to the mat. The fight ended in a convincing win to Shavdatuashvili.
Shavdatuashvili’s victory came on the eight anniversary of the start of the five-day Russia-Georgia August War.
Moments after his win in recognition of the symbolic day, the Georgian athlete emotionally grasped the Georgian flag embroidered on his uniform and then pointed to the sky in prayer, as Yartsev lay on the mat, looking defeated.
After defeating the Russian competitor the Georgian athlete emotionally grasped the Georgian flag embroidered on his uniform and then pointed to the sky in prayer, as Russian athlete lay on the mat, looking defeated. Photo by Lasha Kuprashvili.
Meanwhile after beating Yartsev, Shavdatuashvili challenged the Israeli judoka in the bronze medal final.
The fight balanced heavily in Georgia’s favour with Shavdatuashvili ending the match with an ippon - the highest possible score in judo. Muki went down and Shavdautashvili won the bronze medal.
This was Shavdatuashvili’s second Olympic medal.
Georgian athlete proudly kissing the flag of Georgia embroidered on his uniform after the final victory last night. Photo by Lasha Kuprashvili.
He previously won a gold medal in the 66kg category judo competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom.
The 24-year-old is a native of Gori, where much of the heavy fighting took place during the August 2008 war.
To make it to the bronze medal match, Shavdatuashvili challenged judoka from Cuba, Sri Lanka, Japan, Australia and Russia, and Israel.