Shavdatuashvili delivers for the home crowd

A perfect ending that pleased the home crowd.

World and Olympic Champion, and local hero, Lasha Shavdatuashvili was the top seed in the -73kg division so it was not surprising that he made it to the final at the Tbilisi Grand Slam.

But if the home crowd was expecting big throws and exciting matches, they were in for a disappointment.

His first match, against Kang Heoncheol (KOR), ended with hansoku-make for the Korean. In his next match, against Julia Cesar Koda (BRA), there was a throw involved but it was a very low koshi-guruma-like throw that scored waza-ari. Hardly what you’d call a crowd pleaser

Next up, against Muhammadrahim Sarakhanov (TJK), it was another hansoku-make win. His semifinal match, against his compatriot Giorgi Terashvili, ended in yet another hansoku-make.

As if to make up for the lack of excitement in his build up to the final, Shavdatuashvili truly gave the crowd what they were looking for.

Almost midway through the final, Shavdatuashvili scored with a kosoto-gari for waza-ari. He then managed to keep his lead almost until the very end. With just eight seconds left in the match, his opponent, Ken Oyoshi (JPN), scored with a sacrifice version of yoko-otoshi, to even up the scores.

This took the match into Golden Score. With two shidos on the board for Shavdatuashvili vs Oyoshi’s one shido, the risk of hansoku-make was higher for the Georgian. But he put the crowd’s concern to rest very quickly, sweeping Oyoshi for ippon within 30 seconds. This brought the crowd to its feet.

Watch highlights from this exciting match.