IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation
At the recent IJF Judo Masters in Doha Georgian super talent Tato Grigalashvili was one of the stars who again showed he is an asset for his country. Taking the gold medal at such huge event was impressive but foremost the way he achieved it. He became the best male athlete spending just 16 minutes and 33 seconds on the tatami in Doha which included 4 ippons wins and one wazari win. Grigalashvili is hot.
Grigalashvili: “We have been training hard and we came to this competition as we go into every tournament, looking only for gold.”
“For me, when I come to a tournament, I am always focused and fight until the desired result. This result in Doha still hasn’t sunk in, but I know that this is one of the most important and prestigious events. We have been preparing very well for this competition and planned for this good result, which we have delivered. This victory is a big motivation for me and also for my future plans and aims. Step by step we will reach these goals too.”
In November Grigalashvili became European Champion in Prague, the IJF Msters though is another level. In the final of Doha it seemed rather balanced during a large part of regular time, but following a very slight injury De Wit, on his return on the tatami, seemed slightly distracted, which Grigalashvili was able to take advantage of to throw him before applying an unstoppable arm lock.
“We train to be perfect in a variety of techniques. I want to be as strong with ground techniques as I am in standing techniques.”
How did you become the athlete you are right now?
“I started judo when I was 3 years old after my father took me along. I think the victory of Zurab Zviadauri in the 2004 Olympic games played a big role in this.
We, Georgians are very passionate people and if we decide to do something, then we always do it with full commitment and to a high level
Last year was a very bad year in sport and also in life generally. But I think this period helped me to mature. It gave me an opportunity for progress and we trained very well and you can see the results.
What are your ambitions?
“I want to make history as Tato Grigalashvili and become several times World, European and Olympic Champion. I would like to write my own history in judo.”