22 Apr 2016 - 13:13
Georgian wrestler Vazha Margvelashvili has been crowned judo champion of Europe after defeating two competition favourites at a prestigious competition in Russia.
The young athlete’s performance at the European Judo Championships 2016 in Kazan was impressive; yesterday on day one he defeated two of the competition's favourites before overcoming Colin Oates of the United Kingdom in the final.
The 22-year old Georgian wrestler eliminated the tournament's top seed Dzmitry Shershen of Belarus in the semi-final and Russia's 2012 Olympic Champion Arsen Galstyan in the quarterfinal.
Margvelashvili suffered from slight wrist injury in the final bout against Colin Oates of the UK. Photo from the European Judo Union.
The two victories - combined with two earlier wins in preliminary matches - set the Georgian judoka up for the 66kg category final against Oates at Kazan's Tatneft Arena.
The contest between Margvelashvili and Oates lasted almost five minutes, with the Georgian suffering from a slight wrist injury during the match.
Margvelashvili was even asked by the referee early in the encounter whether he could continue the contest as he was in obvious discomfort however he summoned his strength and continued the battle.
Georgian judoka Vazha Margvelashvili celebrates his win at the European Judo Championships. Photo from the European Judo Union.
As the match progressed Margvelashvili adapted to his injury and ended the bout on a high. He sealed the contest with a Harai Goshi throw, described as "devastating" by judo review website www.judoinside.com.
The move earned the young judoka his first title of the European Champion, adding to his International Judo Federation Tbilisi Grand Prix win in March.
The four-day European Judo Championships will run in Kazan until April 24. Day two of the competition will see four Georgians feature in three weight categories today.
Watch the European Judo Championships final between Vazha Margvelashvili and Colin Oates below: