Georgia has proven its ability in European judo for the 9th time at last night’s judo championship.
Georgia’s national judo team was crowned the European champion after the nation defeated Russia in the final match and gained the continental title.
The Georgian anthem was heard as the nation’s flag flew high in the Polish capital of Warsaw which hosted the European Judo Championships 2017.
It was not an easy win, though. In the first contest Georgian Vazha Margevelashvili defeated Ardaur Ardanov of Russia, taking the lead for Georgia.
Uali Kurzhev took over Lasha Shavdatuashvili in the U73kg category and the score board showed 1-1. Sixteen seconds in it was Stanislav Semenov who busted Zebeda Rekhviashvili giving Russia the lead 2-1. Beka Gviniashvili made the equalizer against Magomed Magomedov and kept Georgia in the rally for another gold medal. The last match was the decision maker between Renat Saidov of Russia and European Champion Guram Tushishvili, where the Georgian team celebrated a huge victory.
Before the final stage the Georgian athletes defeated Italy, Serbia and Ukraine – all strong European judo nations.
The final fight against Russia saw the Georgian athletes win 3-2, cementing the name for the country as the undefeatable European nation.
Georgia won the European team title six out of seven times since 2012, six times Russia was the opponent and six times Georgia won. The only edition when France won the title in 2015 at the European Games, Georgia was still in the final.
The bronze medal went to the team of Ukraine while the second bronze was for Hungary that booked a sensational win over France.
Guram Tushishvili became the European champion and took the gold medal in the over100 kg category defeating another Georgian judoka Adam Okruashvili who received silver. Photo: Georgian Judo Federation/Facebook
Apart from team competitions, individual competition also took place in Warsaw. Georgian judokas won three individual medals: one gold for Guram Tushishvili, one silver for Aadam Okruashvili and one bronze for Beka Gviniashvili.
Tushishvili became the European champion in the 100-plus kg heavyweight division after he defeated another Georgian, Okruashvili.
After deafening his teammate Tushishvili apologised by kissing him on the belly. The belly kiss – which some judo lovers called "ultimate respect for his countryman” and "the most beautiful moment of sportsmanship we’ve seen this year” – can be seen at the 3:39 minute in the video below.