NAME: Ilia SULAMANIDZE
WORLD RANKING POINTS: 6898
At 22 years-old, Ilia SULAMANIDZE of Georgia continues to be one of the most impressive on the circuit, his style is cool with explosive attacks and counters, his demeanour even more so and he simply enjoys stepping on to the tatami.
Following a stunning win in the 2022 Masters to close out his year on the IJF World Judo Tour, he made an equally impressive return with wins in the Portugal Grand Prix and at home in the Tbilisi Grand Slam. There was a bit of bad luck during the world championships where he narrowly missed out on a medal, but nevertheless, the came back all guns blazing.
A bronze medal win in the IJF Masters event which was moved to the summer ensured he remained in the lofty heights of the world ranking list, and he continued to secure his position with an impressive win in the Baku Grand Slam and a silver medal in the senior European Championships in Montpellier.
It is the turn of a new generation for team Georgia, though they can still take the lead from the likes of Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI, Vazha MARGVELASHVILI and Guram TUSHISHVILI heading to Paris – based on the current ranking list positions – Sulamanidze will be replacing the team captain, Varlam LIPARTELIANI as he passes the torch.
Author: Thea Cowen