Zaza Nadiradze claims Georgia’s first-ever gold at Canoe European Championships, 11 Jun 2018 - 15:29, Tbilisi,Georgia

Canoer Zaza Nadiradze has become the first athlete from Georgia to win the Canoe Sprint European Championships, after finishing first in a race in Belgrade, Serbia.

Nadiradze claimed his win in the 200-metre sprint race on Sunday, finishing with a time of 39.2 seconds.

His result was just 0.024 seconds faster than that of Russia’s Ivan Shtyl, with Artsem Kozyr of Belarus coming third with his time of 39.468.

Nadiradze (r) competed along with canoers, kayakers and para-athletes from 40 countries. Photo: Canoe Europe.

The C-1 category sprint was one of nearly 20 canoe and kayak competitions at the Europe-wide tournament.

The championships, organised by the European Canoe Federation, saw athletes from 40 countries take part.

The Georgian team at the event was comprised of six male and one female athletes, including two paracanoers among the men.

The 2016 Olympic Games finalist finished on podium in the World Cup event in Czech Republic earlier this year. Photo: Zaza Nadiradze Facebook profile.

Nadiradze was joined on the Georgian roster by Tengiz Diasamidze, Yury Berasnevich, Murman Malania, Joni Tophuria and Badri Kavelashvili, with Mariam Kerdikashvili the female competitor representing the country.

A medal-winner of the Canoe Sprint World Cup in Szeged, Hungary from earlier this year, Nadiradze also won silver in last year’s World Cup event in Racice, Czech Republic, among other podium finishes throughout 2017.

Born in Mtskheta, the Georgian is also a finalist of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and was the first Georgian canoer to compete at the Olympics.