Once again we return to Tbilisi, Georgia for the tremendous grand slam event. It has been eagerly anticipated given its postponement, but now the athletes have departed and arrival is imminent.
The three day event will begin on Friday 3rd of May with the lightweight categories. For the host nation they will be rallying a passionate and educated crowd in the Olympic Sport Palace for many top athletes, more than able to swipe gold.
President of the Georgian Judo Federation, Mr Giorgi ATABEGASHVILI is proud to host the event for the second time,
Georgian judo achieved records and very impressive results in 2021, especially the Olympic Games are worth mentioning. Judo is the number one sport in Georgia and the number of athletes is growing day by day. Our fans are looking forward to the Grand Slam tournament.
This is a great honor for us and I would like to thank again the President of IJF, Mr Marius Vizer for the trust and this great opportunity. I do hope, despite of prolonging World Pandemic, all judoka, guests and team officials will have a great event.
Leading the charge in the -60kg category is Lukhumi CHKHVIMIANI (#1 seed) and Temur NOZADZE (#2 seed), but they could have a delightful surprise as #5 seed, 2021 junior world champion, Giorgi SARDALASHVILI joins the race. Only last week he took gold in the Malaga Junior European Cup and will be eager to top that podium again.
Of course, with an entry of 28 men and 11 women, the entire host team will have a lot of support and the big names will draw in crowds, not to mention friends and family for the likes of national hero, Lasha SHAVDATUASHVILI.
Most of the female top seeds are coming from outside the borders, Anna-Maria WAGNER (GER), Sanne VAN DIJKE (NED) and PUPP Reka (HUN) are all within the top ten, but there will be plenty of excitement surround Eteri LIPARTELIANI (GEO) in the -57kg category. She has some tough competition from the French frontier, Priscilla GNETO and Faiza MOKDAR, not to mention the former -48kg world champion, Daria BILODID who is back to give her new category another try.
The draw will take place on the 2nd of June at 14:00 local time with the preliminaries yet to be determined. All days of competition can we watched at live.ijf.org.
Author: Thea Cowen