News

The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com

Golden Georgii Zantaraia still going strong

2 Jul 2019 09:50

 by Oon Yeoh    Facebook
20190622_minsk_eurgames_georgii_zantaraia

One of judo's most exciting players, Georgii Zantaraia, was only 21 years old when he won the World title in 2009 at the Rotterdam World Championships. Last week he was again on form when he won the European Games in Minsk giving him another stepping stone to take the World title, 10 years after his remarkable first.

His super exciting brand of judo, especially his highly unorthodox kosoto-gake, made everyone take notice of him. The way he felled the talented Japanese fighter Hiroaki Hiraoka (with his kosoto-gake) in the final, and his subsequent brilliant performance at various IJF World Tours made people think he was going to become a multiple World Champion.

So far he has not managed to win another world title -- which is quite surprising given his enormous talent -- but he has amassed an additional five world medals (one silver and four bronzes). Along the way, he has also managed to win three European titles and six IJF World Tour titles. That's an impressive record by any measure.

European Games gold

His latest success was as gold medal at the 2019 Minsk European Games. Imagine, 10 years after he reached the pinnacle of judo success, Zantaraia is still among the very top players in the world. One can only think of Ilias Iliadis as having that kind of longevity at the top.

So, how will he fare at the 2019 Tokyo World Championships? He has his fair share of tough European rivals but he's proven over the years that he can do quite well against the very best European fighters. Take for example the current No. 1, Vazha Margvelashvili of Georgia. Zantaraia has lost to him twice but has beaten him twice too. So another match-up between these two could literally go any way.

Zantaraia vs Japan

Zantaraia doesn't have a good record against the current top Japanese fighters though. He's fought Hifumi Abe three times and had lost all three times.  He's fought Joshiro Maruyama only once but he lost to him too.

It's hard to imagine him being able to defeat Abe, in particular. If he were going against another European, the odds would be much better.

Then again, Zantaraia might just surprise everybody and claim the top spot in Tokyo. You can't say he's at his peak anymore but his good showing at the European Games in Minsk proves he's still able to compete at the very highest level and win.

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Georgii Zantaraia (UKR) - World Championships Baku (2018, AZE) - © JudoInside.com, judo news, results and photos
  • Georgii Zantaraia (UKR) - Grand Prix Antalya (2019, TUR) - © Turkish Judo Federation
  • Georgii Zantaraia (UKR) - European Games Minsk (2019, BLR) - © David Finch, Judophotos.com

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News

20190819_jh_judoworlds_jpn_66_joshiro_maruyama

Tokyo Preview Men U66kg: Japanese will likely destroy the rest

26 Aug 2019 00:10

The U66kg category in Tokyo is hard to predict, but when it comes to the finallists, it’s doable as some athletes are way above the rest. There are two Japanese in this category and the gold could easily go to either one. Abe is the more accomplished internationally but the older Maruyama has beaten Abe in both domestic and international competitions. Read more

20180823_mongjh_judoworlds_medallists

Georgii Zantaraia and Idalys Ortiz are World Championships legends

15 Aug 2019 10:25

Without Teddy Riner Cuban judo star Idalys Ortiz is the one with the most World Championships medals fighting in Tokyo. The Cuban heavyweight captured seven World Championships medals in her career. In 2009 she won her first and in 2013 and 2014 she took the world title. Read more

20190622_minsk_eurgames_georgii_zantaraia

Bilodid and Zantaraia strikes again with two European gold medals

22 Jun 2019 18:25

The Ukraine lead after the first day of the European Games in Minsk. The Ukraine collected two gold medals at the judo tournament. The first gold was expected for World Champion Daria Bilodid. She was warned for her recent loss in the final in Tbilisi but this time she was able to resist the pressure on her tiny shoulders. Read more

20190209_parisgs_ijf_final_66_denis_vieru

Surprise Denis Vieru claims Moldova’s first Grand Slam crown

9 Feb 2019 18:30

Budapest Grand Prix bronze medallist Denis Vieru (MDA) won his first Grand Slam final to record his country’s first win at a Grand Slam. Vieru was tipped to play second fiddle to former world bronze medallist Vazha Margvelashvili (GEO) but the former upstaged his Georgian rival and one-time Grand Slam winner with a majestic tai-otoshi earning ippon in the U66kg final. Read more

20180921_baku_wch_ef_final_66_kaz_serikzhanov_jpn_abe52

Hifumi Abe captures his second world title in style

21 Sep 2018 16:25

What a story for judo with brother and sister Abe showcasing marvelous and innovating judo. Both champions finished their match by uchimata, a unique happening in judo. Hifumi Abe claimed the world title U66kg defeating the dark horse of today Yerlan Serikzhanov of Kazakhstan. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
1Abu Dhabi25 Oct
2Zagreb26 Jul
1Veneto23 Feb
1Tel Aviv2018
3Paris2018
Result City Date
2Wiesbaden9 Nov
2Abu Dhabi25 Oct
3Tallinn13 Oct
7Tokyo29 Aug
3Zagreb26 Jul

Partners

First description Second description Third description Four description