Shamil Borchashvili takes gold in Linz
Shamil Borchashvili captured the gold medal at home in Linz at the Grand prix Upper Austria U81kg. Borchashvili brought a first medal to the host country at this debut Upper Austria Grand Prix.
Half way through the final, it seemed that Borchashvili was more active than Ukrainian judoka Mykhailo Svidrak who was penalised twice for passivity. It was actually not that he was doing nothing, it was simply Borchashvili who was always first to attack and unbalance his opponent. With the two competitors about to enter the last minute, the tendency was confirmed as Svidrak received his third penalty. For sure, if you ask Shamil Borchashvili how his day went, he will say that it was a hard day in the office, but in the end, he did it, at home, earning the first gold medal for Austria.
We almost witnessed what happens very rarely in sport, namely, a final between two brothers, the Borchashvili brothers. While the world and Olympic medallist, Shamil, had just qualified for the last contest of the category, his brother Wachid stepped on the tatami in his semi-final against Svidrak. It was a match of incredible intensity, one which saw the Ukrainian counter the Austrian twice in ne-waza to almost finish the contest. Wachid escaped several times but eventually lost to an early waza-ari that had come in tachi-waza. Eventually we knew that Shamil would face Svidrak to win the gold medal and not his brother, who went on to fight for bronze.
Wachid did not go far from joining Shamil though. He probably lacked a little tactical experience, experience which Shamil showed precisely throughout a competition day, one that, despite his successive victories, was complicated.
It was thus Dimitri Gochiladze (GEO) and Wachid Borchashvili (AUT) who came together in an effort to win the first bronze medal of the category. The match was tense and tight and until the last seconds, the public was hoping for an Austrian victory but with less than thirty seconds to go, Gochiladze launched his o-soto-gari combined with a tani-otoshi for ippon. This was a cold shower for Wachid Borchashvili and the audience went silent for a few seconds before congratulating both champions.
In the second bout for a bronze medal, Zaur Dvalashvili (GEO) and Jose Maria Mendiola Izquieta (ESP) faced off. We had to wait until the very last seconds to see Zaur Dvalashvili score waza-ari almost with the gong. This was the second bronze medal for Georgia in the category and the first ever for Dvalashvili in a grand prix.