Georgia’s sole male representative ensured a %100-success rate by winning gold in the -90kg category on day two of the Paris Grand Slam. Varlam LIPARTELIANI (GEO) is on a different schedule to his team mates, but it is one that yielded maximum returns. Five contests saw the 26 year-old Georgian rack-up five scores, four of them ippons, on his way to his second Paris Grand Slam title.
After a first round bye Liparteliani fought first Aleksandr MARMELJUK (EST) whom he defeated by ippon with kuzure kesa gatame. In the third round Liparteliani threw Said Emi ZHAMBEKOV (RUS) with makikomi for ippon to take his place in the quarter final. Paris is not to everyone’s liking, but Liparteliani’s performances at the “competitive home” of judo have seen him finish in the final block on each of his six appearances a fact that makes Paris an attractive proposition. Axel CLERGET (FRA) was Liparteliani’s quarter final opponent. But, despite the Frenchman’s best efforts, he was unable to stop Liparteliani from throwing him with makikomi for ippon. Aleksandar KUKOLJ (SRB) was Liparteliani’s semi final opponent but he too was thrown with makikomi for waza ari and then with ushiro kesa gatame makikomi by ippon.
In the final Liparteliani faced Alexandre IDDIR (FRA). “The hardest fight was the final match against Alexandre Iddir. To fight in Paris in the final against a French athlete is always a challenge, irrespective of how good a fighter one is,” said Liparteliani. Despite his gold medal Liparteliani still felt there was room for improvement. “It was not my best performance today. Nevertheless I am satisfied. It is my second gold medal here in Paris and this makes me happy,” said Liparteliani.
With regard to his plans Liparteliani said, “My current plans are different to my team mates. I have agreed to go to the USA for two weeks to give some judo lessons in a number of judo clubs. After this I will compete at the Grand Slam in Tokyo at the end of the year.”