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Cream of the crop out to stop Varlam Liparteliani
21 Feb 2019 09:05
When faced with adversity an elite athlete can crumble or channel their frustrations to drive them forward. Despite the weight of carrying the hopes of a nation, runaway world number one Liparteliani is arguably in the best form of his life having endured a tumultuous time being at the centre of the sport in his homeland.
Liparteliani, 29 has cleaned out the division with victories at the World Judo Masters and Paris Grand Slam in his last two events and has started to look untouchable.
Georgia’s captain fantastic has been a one-man wrecking ball in the U100kg category, winning his last nine contests and has only shipped a single score in that time, a waza-ari against world champion Cho Guham (KOR) in the Paris Grand Slam semi-final.
The Olympic and world silver medallist looks set to have the best two chances of major glory of his career at the 2019 Worlds and 2020 Olympics and will start as the favourite in Germany where he’ll be targeted by name judoka such as world champion Cho former world number one Michael Korrel (NED) and Olympic bronze medallist Cyrille Maret (FRA) among others.
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