19 May 2024


World Championships Seniors (Individual+Teams)


It happened in the quarter-finals, halfway through the regular fighting time. The 20-year-old Giorgi SARDALASHVILI (GEO) fell behind with a waza-ari against long-time rival Turan Bayramov (AZE). “I’ve lost to Turan twice in the last two years. I knew I had to rise above myself. I was out of my depth for a moment.”
Less than two minutes later, the Georgian clenched his fist. Instead of his third defeat against Bayramov, Giorgi was able to record his fourth victory, by far his most important. “This victory released all my strength. It felt like I had not only beaten Turan, but also myself. At that moment, I knew I was ready for the world title,” the youngster emphasised.

It’s been three years since Sardalashvili, currently ranked number 8 in the world, won the Junior World Championship title in Olbia, Italy. His opponent in the final was Turan Bayramov. “Of course I remembered that today, when we met in the quarter final.”
Now, at 20, Giorgi Sardalashvili is the youngest Georgian judo world champion in history (since independence in 1991) and has not yet had enough: “I skipped the European Championships in Zagreb so that I could concentrate fully on the Olympic Games in Paris. The World Championships were just a stopover…”
That sounds – to his opponents – almost like a threat…

Author: EJU Media