Since 1975
  • facebook
  • twitter

UAE judoka Tatalashvili bags bronze at Tbilisi Grand Slam as he targets Paris Olympics

Tatalashvili started off brightly with a clean win. (FILE/AFP)
Tatalashvili started off brightly with a clean win. (FILE/AFP)
Short Url:
27 Mar 2024 01:03:14 GMT9
27 Mar 2024 01:03:14 GMT9
  • ‘Our preparations are on the right track,’ says president of the Emirates Judo Federation

Arab News

ABU DHABI: The UAE’s Nugzari Tatalashvili is now gearing up for the Olympics after clinching the bronze medal in the under-81 kg men’s category at the Tbilisi Grand Slam at the weekend.

Tatalashvili started off brightly with a clean win against Taulan Baisiev who was competing as an Individual Neutral Athlete in the round of 32 encounter.

In the round of 16 competition, Tatalashvili managed to get past Portugal’s Anri Egutidze, then beat Omar Rajabli of Azerbaijan to progress to the semifinals.

Tatalashvili then lost to Uzbekistan’s Sharofiddin Boltaboev following an “under the heel strike” to settle for a bronze medal.

Mohammed bin Thaloub Al-Darai, president of the Emirates Judo Federation, praised Tatalashvili as he continues to prepare for the Olympics later this summer.

“All this preparation is part of a translation of the strategic plan according to which the Emirates Judo Federation is slowly working its way towards further glory at the Olympic Games. Our main aim is to provide our athletes with the best possible stage where they can give off their best and prove that they are good as any of the judokas from across the world,” Al-Darai said.

“During this competition, Nugzari Tatalashvili has more than proved that he is capable of competing against the best. Ultimately, it is competitions like this one that will contribute towards a better judoka as he is bound to learn from the mistakes that he may have made. This is a welcome sign for us all at the federation as our athletes seem to be peaking just in time for the most important event of their sporting careers,” he added.

Tatalashvili was satisfied with his bronze medal as it afforded him another opportunity to represent the UAE on the podium at an international competition.

“This bronze medal constitutes a positive morale boost in my preparations towards the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. But prior to that I have to give off my best at my home competition in Abu Dhabi at the Abu Dhabi World Championships for Seniors and Teams. Winning a bronze medal now means I can always get better and go one or two better and head towards other colored medals in time for the Olympics,” he said.

Considered one of the four major tournaments of 2024, the Tbilisi Grand Slam is part of the IJF World Judo competition roster. It attracted 296 men and 235 women competing in various weight categories over two days.

Tatalashvili has been showing steady improvement following his bronze medal at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Slam in October last year. The 34-year-old’s next competition will be the Antalya Grand Slam next week in Turkiye.

Most Popular

return to top