There was a golden time for Georgia from 2006-2008 when Zaza Kedelashvili won the European title U66kg, in 2013 it was Olympic Champion Lasha Shavdatuashvili, but now Georgia has got a new potential Olympic medallist in Vazha Margvelashvili. He won the European judo title in Kazan with good victories defeating British Colin Oates in the final with a devastating Harai Goshi.
Margvelashvili defeated number one seed Dzmitry Shershan (BLR) in the semi final and 2012 Olympic Champion U60kg Arsen Galstyan from Russian at home in the quarter final. Also his first two matches against Andre Soares (POR) and Sinan Sindal (TUTR) were no give aways. The Georgian had to work for the gold but with his talent and combination of form he managed to win the gold in a somewhat poor field without the strongest Russians, without Korval, without Zantaraia, without Shikhalizada. So no guaranties at the Olympic Games for Georgia, but again Margvelashvili won the gold like in Tbilis in March. This one counts in points and Margvelashvili will be back at the Olympics. No need to compete for Belgium as he received the license to compete in Belgium to fight at club level.
The bronze was Fabio Basile of Italy who had already won European and World bronze in the junior category but the 21-year old Italian was the second today to win bronze for his country as also Elios Manzi medallied U60kg. Basile defeated Dzmitry Shershan in his last bout.
Arsen Galstyan won the bronze at home, although he’s not Russia’s first choice for the Olympic Games, that battle is still going on between Pulyaev and Khan-Magomedov, both absent today so other benefit with a smile.
This Olympic cycle European Champions
2016 Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO)
2015 Kamal Khan-Magomedov (RUS)
2014 Loic Korval (FRA)
2013 Lasha Shavdatuashvili (GEO)
2012 Alim Gadanov (RUS)
Vazha Margvelashvili of Georgia won bronze at the GP Düsseldorf in 2015 and 2016 U66kg. Margvelashvili he won the ECC Golden League in Vienna in 2015. In 2016 she started with bronze at African Open in Tunis and Grand Prixs in Havana and Düsseldorf. He took gold at the Grand Prix in Tbilisi. In 2012 he won European silver in the Juniors, now the gold in the seniors.