Ok, so Beka GVINIASHVILI (GEO) may justifiably be regarded as having already made a mark on the senior circuit when he won the Masters earlier this year. However, winning gold on the eve of his 20th birthday is quite a coming of age present. Two IJF Grand Slams and two Grand Prix events remain on the senior circuit before 2015 comes to a close, but it is unlikely that Beka GVINIASHVILI (GEO) will feature in any of them. After a commanding and all-conquering display in winning the -90kg category on day three of the Junior World Championships in Abu Dhabi, this win should satisfy his thirst (and that of the Georgian coaching staff) for competitive outings for Gviniashvili until the World Judo Tour gets underway again in 2016. The only other likely possibility being the European Club Cup that is coincidently being staged in December in Tbilisi.
Gviniashvili, seeded number two, had a bye in the first round and so his opening contest was against KIM Tae Ho (KOR) whom he threw with sumi gaeshi for ippon. Next up was Hamid RASHIDI (IRI) who was unfortunate to receive hansokumake for a leg-grab after only 30 seconds of the third round contest. In the quarter final Gviniashvili faced Rafal KOZLOWSKI (POL) against whom he scored first by throwing with uchi mata for yuko, then finishing in ne waza by holding Kozlowski with kami shiogatame for ippon.
The semi final was against David TEKIC (GER) and, in a repeat of the final of the Junior European Championships held in Oberwart, Austria a little over a month ago, Gviniashvili triumphed by ippon, this time the German was thrown with tai otoshi for waza ari then held by Gviniashvili with kuzure kesa gatame. This put Gviniashvili in the final and, for the first time, a contest against last year’s junior world silver medallist and this year’s number one seed, Nikoloz SHERAZADISHVILI (ESP). Unfortunately for the Spaniard, he had to suffer the disappointment of a second defeat in a junior world championship final as Gviniashvili took control early, catching Sherazadishvili in ne waza with kami shiogatame for ippon inside the first 30 seconds.
When asked about his wave to all areas of the arena Gviniashvili said, “I waved goodbye to everyone because this was my last time to compete as a junior. It’s my birthday tomorrow so I’ll be celebrating with my team mates tonight.”
Georgian Judo Federation President David Kevkhishvili said that he was delighted for Gviniashvili. “He [Gviniashvili] has plenty of experience of working in the senior programme but for these junior championships we had prepared a special programme for Beka,” said Kevkhishvili.