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Georgian judoka wins Tokyo Grand Slam championship for the first time since 1982

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Monday, December 7
Georgian judoka Avtandil Tchrikishvili, 24, has won the Tokyo Grand Slam championship.

This is the first time a Georgian judoka has become the Tokyo Grand Slam champion since Davit Bodaveli, who claimed the main prize in 1982.

He defeated his Japanese opponent Keita Nagashima in the first round of the tournament.

In the final match, Tchrikishvili defeated his rival, South Korean Seung-Su Lee, by a penalty.

He also defeated Dutch and Greek rivals on his way to winning the championship title.

Earlier, Nugzar Tatalashvili won a bronze having defeated fellow-Georgian Lasha Shavdatuashvili.

The Tokyo Grand Slam was the final event of the judo year.

The competition also acted as a qualification tournament for next year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

In total, 295 men and 181 women competed over three days of competition, which boasted ˆ150.000 in prize money.

Tchrikishvili is a triple European Champion and European Games winner. He won the World title in 2014 and many European and World titles for Georgia.

Tchrikishvili started training at the age of nine, though not in the wrestling-orientated village of Norio in the Gardabani district, but in Tbilisi; he also began training in athletics before turning to judo.

It was his grandma's desire for young Avtandil to engage in sports and it was she who took him to train, a Tabula article reads.