Georgia is ready. Tomorrow the live draw (live.ijf.org) will determine the fate of these young cadet athletes as many debut in their first international event, and some who are a little more seasoned on the European circuit. A total of 324 athletes are competing this weekend from 16 countries in the Gore Sports Palace, vying for a gold medal.
The host nation have a tremendous entry of 118 athletes, and notably 54 young women are joining the ranks demonstrating the changes happening in this nation in regards to the increase of females involved in the sport.
Three world ranked number ones are among those looking for glory, two of which flying the Georgian flag; Tornike GIGAURI (-60kg) and Shotiko GOCHIASHVILI (+90kg) as well as Sinem ORUC (TUR). Though Gigauri and Gochiashvili can’t be faulted for their recent achievements and golden collections, Oruc lays claim not only to a European cadet title but also a world one, and she continued her reign of the -63kg category taking gold in Teplice earlier this month.
Alongside the strong European presence, nations to the east are sending their teams in droves, including that of Kazakhstan, with a team of 63 to contend. Another cadet world champion is also joining the competition, India’s history-making Linthoi CHANAMBAM devastated the -57kg category in Sarajevo last year and many will be looking forward to seeing her on the tatami.
President of the Georgian Judo Federation, Giorgi ATABEGASHVILI strives for the development of judo amongst the young practitioners,
Two years ago, the National Judo Federation of Georgia started a new project at the level of young judokas, which meant a systemic change, the introduction of new standards and approaches throughout the country. It is good that this year for the first time a similar type of tournament will be held in this age category, which in itself is another recognition and appreciation of Georgian judo, for which I would like to thank the European Judo Union.
The development of sports in our country is a special priority for us, and it is very important to take care that young people can realize themselves. The strategic plan further stimulates the development of Georgian judo – international experience and mix of practices lead to the main path – the main concept of our work is to increase the unlimited possibilities of athletes.
It will be an action packed weekend on the 6th and 7th of May, follow the event at live.ijf.org.
Author: Thea Cowen