Things were difficult for the double world champion Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (ESP), but in the end we will remember that he gave everything, absolutely everything, to reach the final. Each contest was a battle fought against opponents unimpressed by the Spanish champion's incredible record.
Final, Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (ESP) vs Shady Elnahas (CAN)

We can remember that his titles were won in the lower category and that made all the difference but what Sherazadishvili demonstrated today was impressive. Although nothing was easy, he applied his coach's instructions to the letter to find solutions, whether technically or tactically. He threw, worked in ne-waza and pushed his opponents to be penalised.

Final, Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (ESP) vs Shady Elnahas (CAN)

In the end, he demonstrated complete and solid judo, despite a few flaws, which he will have to correct in the weeks to come. It is easier to race in the lead, which was not always the case today for him. Nevertheless it is also in difficulty that we see the greatest champions. Sherazadishvili was undeniably so today.

Gold medallist, Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (ESP)

Being a campion is one thing, winning the competition can be another. Facing the Spaniard we found Shady Elnahas (CAN), already a grand slam winner and 10 times a medallist. However, since the 2023 Pan American Games and his beautiful gold medal, Elnahas has not managed to reach a single final block, his best result being a seventh place in Tokyo in December. With the elimination in the first round of the number one seed, his competitor and teammate Kyle Reyes (CAN), Elnahas hit the jackpot today and there is no doubt that he must look towards Paris.

Gold medallist, Nikoloz Sherazadishvili (ESP)

It was therefore a duel between Nikoloz Sherazadishvili, supported by the public, and a vengeful Shady Elnahas that we witnessed in the final. Big attacks could be expected. Sherazadishvili started as earlier in the day, with some difficulties putting his hands on his opponent's judogi, while Elnahas was attacking more but the Canadian's uchi-mata that came after this observation round was not prepared enough and against an athlete of the calibre of the double world champion, you can’t afford any mistake. It was a counter-attack and ippon for Nikoloz Sherazadishvili, who wins his fifth grand slam gold medal, but the first of this year after two silvers (Portugal and Paris). This is also his first grand slam gold in his new category; it took some time to find his marks at -100kg. It is now the case, only improvement can be added.

Bronze medal contest, Islam Bozbayev (KAZ) vs Laurin Boehler (AUT)

Islam Bozbayev (KAZ) and Laurin Boehler (AUT) faced off in the first match for a bronze medal. Even if physically speaking Boehler seemed a little weaker than his opponent, he is the one who scored with a brilliant combination of ko-uchi and o-uchi-gari, a score that he could keep alive until the end to win bronze.

Bronze medal contest, Zsombor Veg (HUN) vs Mikheil Japaridze (GEO)

Zsombor Veg (HUN) and Mikheil Japaridze (GEO), who posed a lot of problems for Nikoloz Sherazadishvili, faced each other in the second contest for a bronze medal. Being ranked 123rd in the world Japaridze was obviously the outsider but based on what we witnessed earlier in the day, Veg could expect a difficult contest. Actually, it was not that difficult. With a beautiful sumi-gaeshi Veg scored a first waza-ari, immediately followed with an immobilisation for ippon and a well deserved bronze medal.

Medals, cheques and flowers were presented by Mr Leri Khabelov, President of the Georgian National Olympic Committee, and Mr Tamaz Naveriani, Vice President of the Judo Federation of Georgia

Final (-100 kg)

Bronze Medal Fights (-100 kg)

See also