TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgia won its first medal in the Rio Olympics on Tuesday, as Lasha Shavdatuashvili claimed the bronze medal in men’s 73kg judo.
He defeated Sagi Muki from Israel in the final rounds. Earlier, he defeated Denis Yartsev of Russia in the quarter finals, which was quite important for Georgians as it took place exactly eight years after the start of the South Ossetia war in August, 2008.
After defeating Yartsev, Shavdatuashvili, who comes from Karaleti, a village near the breakaway territory South Ossetia, looked at his competitor and pointed to the Georgian map on his chest. A video of the fight went viral among Georgians online.
40 Georgian athletes are participating in this year’s Summer Olympics; the country’s largest contingent since independence in 1991. They are competing in 13 disciplines. For the first time in Olympic history, a mother and a son are participating in the same sport: Olympian gold medalist (1988) Nino Salukvadze and her son Tsotne Machavariani, both pistol shooters.
Georgian sport commentators expect their country to get 8 or 9 medals this year, most likely in judo, wrestling and weightlifting.
The highest number of medals claimed by the Caucasus nation was in 2012, in judo and wrestling. Lasha Shavdatuashvili won a gold medal, while other athletes claimed three silver and three bronze medals.