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Nikoloz Sherazadishvili of Spain cherishes his Georgian roots in Tbilisi
29 Mar 2016 17:55
Last weekend a Spaniard captured bronze at the Grand Prix of Tbilisi, but we all know Nikoloz Sherazadishvili was born in Tbilisi. The 20-year-old Junior was world silver medallist twice at the World Juniors in Miami (2014) and Abu Dhabi (2015). Sherazadishvili who was a strong performer all day long and got his just rewards in front of a crowd who more than appreciated his Georgian roots.
Sherazadishvili won the first Grand Prix medal of his burgeoning career against Magomed Magomedov (RUS) and started by taking the lead with a yuko as he collapsed a drop-seoi-nage attempt to drive over the Russian for the smallest score. Magomedov was twice penalised for a cross-grip as he was unwilling to attack and then got caught for a waza-ari by the Spaniard who held down his opponent for 15 seconds and a fine bronze medal.
In the semi-final Van ‘t End emphatically defeated Nikoloz Sherazadishvili as he scored three times without a reply. Sherazadishvili couldn’t stop Van ‘t End who led by a waza-ari before adding a yuko and then finally ippon after two minutes in a sharp display.
Sherazadishvili started judo here aged 8, said: “This is my first Grand Prix medal and it means everything to me. I’ve done a lot of senior competitions now but this is my first medal at this level. Fighting in Georgia for the first time for me as a Spanish international was very special for me and I can’t thank the crowd enough for their support. I am so happy, I will never forget this day.”
In his second match Sherazadishvili fought a fellow Georgian, Visually impaired judoka Zviad Gogotchuri. The European VI champion of last year came undone against the Tbilisi-born Sherazadishvili in the third round by ippon who then went on to win bronze. Junior ace Sherazadishvili showed his maturity in this match and and immense respect for Gogotchuri with an honest and touching embrace.
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