The Ins-and-Outs for Georgia at the EYOF 2015

The 2015 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) was opened in a grand ceremony on July 27th and has already revealed the strengths and weaknesses in the Georgian side.

The Georgian national team had a successful start in tennis but by Day 3, three Georgian tennis players – Davit Chelidze, Ana Makatsaria and Ana Shanidze –had been forced out of the tournament, leaving just one Georgian, Nikoloz Davlianidze, still in the game. Davlianidze defeated Annei Kaska from Belorussia 6:1 6:4 in the third round and will face Polish Rafal Michalski, who is one of the favorite candidates for gold in the quarterfinal.

In basketball, too, Georgia has suffered defeat, with the girls dropping out on Day 1 in a loss to Turkey (28:61) and the boys making it to Day 3 but finishing third place in Group A, stepping out of the tournament after losing to Bosnia and Herzegovina with a score of 74:81.

There were also disappointments for Georgia in handball– the boys’ Georgian national team lost 28:22 against Switzerland and the girls were defeated by the Czech Republic 40:17.

But July 28 saw success at last for Georgia as judokas Zurab Kakhiashvili and Temur Nozadze both won bronze medals for the Georgian national team.

Zurab Kakhiashvili was the first Georgian to win a medal. The Georgian judoka defeated Czech Davit Vopat in the 50kg weight category by waza-ari. In the debut, he was penalized with shido but then he warmed up to gain yoko.

“It was a difficult round. I’m very happy to become the first medalist of the Georgian delegation. I will try my best to improve the results and gain only gold medals for my country,” said Kakhiashvili after the competition.

Later that day, Temur Nozadze also won a bronze medal in an intense struggle with Turkish Zehir Ugurcan in the 55kg weight category. “I am so happy. It was the hardest competition but I managed to do the final throw 9 seconds early. I’m not going to stop there, and from now on I will try to win only gold medals,” said Nozadze.

The third day of the 13th European Youth Olympic Festival in Tbilisi saw another judo success for Georgia with Robinzon Beglarishvili winning the country’s first gold medal.

Beglarishvili beat Italian Manuel Lombardo with waza-ari in the 60kg weight category. “I didn’t expect so much support from fans and extend them my thanks. It’s nice that Georgia is hosting such an event for the first time. My opponent was strong but, nonetheless, I managed to beat him!” said the champion.

Georgians Natalia Kipshidze and Bagrat Niniashvili also won bronze medals in judo. Kipshidze beat British opponent, Kiera Bateman, in the 48kg weight category with shido while Niniashvili beat his Azeri opponent, Pasha Aliyev, and brought a fifth medal for his country.

The Russian national team had won nine medals, keeping it in first place two days into the EYOF 2015 competition, before Italy slipped ahead on July 29 by winning seven gold medals.

President of the European Youth Olympic Festival Patrick Hickey remarked that these games are a significant step forwards for Georgia’s sporting development and a step forward in Tbilisi’s recovery from the floods that hit the city last month.

“Sport has a crucial role to play in providing hope during tough times and the entire European Olympic family is behind Georgia in this endeavor,” said Hickey.

The international competition will run from July 27th to August 1st and will cover nine types of sporting events with over 4000 athletes competing from 49 countries.

Keep up-to-date with the latest EYOF 2015 results (both Georgian and international) on

Eka Karsaulidze and Katie Ruth Davies

30 July 2015 21:53