NAME: Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI
It comes with little surprise that Shavdatuashvili has secured his number one spot, following on from his 2021 first place finisher. The 2021 world champion has made his way through 2022, demonstrating why he finds himself at the top with two grand slam wins in Paris and Tbilisi, as well as more points from Hungary and Baku.
What is surprising however is his lack of luck in the major tournaments of the year; Europeans, Worlds and Masters. For whatever reason, medals have evaded him on these occasions, then again he is a regular on the jam-packed world tour and perhaps his busy schedule was an overload. The number one seed lost out to the eventual Masters champion, Daniel CARGNIN (BRA) in his opening round and had done so previously in the World championship repechage with the Brazilian athlete.
Then again, when it comes to his Olympic preparation, it is difficult to find any fault given that he has three medals in as many Olympiads. He was only a youngster when he claimed his -66kg Olympic title in London 2012, then swiped a bronze in Rio and silver in Tokyo. Both himself and ONO Shohei were waging war as both strived for their second title. Interestingly, a recent announcement of Ono’s retirement has us all wondering what will be in store in Paris, will Shavdatuashvili be able to capitalise and swap his second position for first?
Author: Thea Cowen