European Champion in 2020, but without result in 2021 so far, Robert Mshvidobadze (RUS) was nevertheless the number one seed and, as we announced during the preview, he had the capacity to bring back a medal for the host country. This is what he guaranteed by reaching the final, where he was opposed by the reigning world champion, Lukhumi Chkhvimiani (GEO), who, despite some tough matches, managed to extricate himself from the traps of the preliminary rounds.
Judofans witnessed an intense battle of grips that went into Golden Score lasted nearly 14 minutes. In the end, the Georgian won through a hold-down. He did a pretty hard kick on the Russian's shin just prior to the hold-down though. Neither of the two competitors finding the slightest opportunity to score, but both showed great engagement, a superb capacity to escape from tricky situations and they finally entered the golden score with only one shido to Mshvidobadze's name. After a few seconds, Chkhvimiani was also penalised. 4 minutes and 19 seconds were needed for Chkhvimiani to finally score ippon with an osae-komi-waza, after an incredible series of attacks, counterattacks and escapes and an unbelievable riot of energy. At the end of the bout they showed beautiful respect and sportsmanship to one another.
Pointing to a distant 104th place in the world ranking, Ayub Bliev (RUS) is part of this new generation of competitors for whom a grand slam at home is a magnificent opportunity to shine and he did not fail to do that, qualifying for the bronze medal contests against his compatriot Ramazan Abdulaev (RUS), also 23 years old. The next generation of Russian athletes is already shaping up to flourish. Abdulaev finally pinned down his countryman to win the bronze medal.
In the second bronze medal contest, we found the holder of three medals in grand prix, David Pulkrabek (CZE), against Dauren Syukenov (KAZ), whose record on the world circuit was still blank before the start of the competition. After four minutes, where nothing was scored and Syukenov was only penalised with one shido, it was time for the first golden score of the final block, but it was Pulkrabek's turn to be penalised twice, putting him under pressure, with a third shido, looming, which he received after well into the 8th minute of contest time resulting in bronze for Syukenov.