Georgian Wins Silver in Judo at Rio Olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO – Georgian judoka Varlam Liparteliani won a silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games on Wednesday in the men’s 90-kilogram class.

Liparteliani made it all the way to the final after defeating the 2015 World Champion Gwak Dong-han of South Korea.

The 27-year-old then lost in the final against reigning World Champion, Japan’s Mashu Baker.

Brought to tears on the awards podium Liparteliani couldn’t hold back tears during the medal ceremony.

“I am very happy, but I worked so very hard to be an Olympic champion. I wanted it so badly. I put everything into achieving my goal. I got a medal, but this is not the one I was fighting so hard for,” Liparteliani said in an interview with World Sport.

The silver that Liparteliani won on Wednesday is Georgia’s second medal at the Rio Olympic Games. Fellow judoka, Lasha Shavdatuashvili, won bronze in the men’s 73-kilogram category on August 8.

Liparteliani was the European Judo Champion in 2012, 2014 and 2016, as well as the runner-up in 2009, 2013 and 2015.

Georgia sent 39 athletes to the Rio Games, the largest-ever Olympic team in the South Caucasus nation’s history.

The Rio Games are the sixth Summer Olympics that Georgia has participated in as an independent country. The small nation of 3.7 million people previously competed as part of the Soviet Union’s Olympic Team until 1992.

By Tamar Svanidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

Photo: Lasha Kuprashvili

11 August 2016 11:16