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Georgia’s early success leads to Olympic gold

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, July 31
20 year-old Lasha Shavdatuashvili captured Georgia’s first gold medal at the London Olympic Games on Sunday. The young Georgian judo wrestler defeated four rivals, the last of whom was 11 years older than the Georgian athlete. Lasha won the men’s under 66kg category. Shavdatuashvili, defeated Hungary’s Miklos Ungvari in the final and before that, he defeated in semi-final one of the favourites– Masashi Ebinuma of Japan.

Shortly after his win, the Georgian president congratulated the gold medal holder on this victory. “This is an unforgettable day for all of Georgia and for [residents of] Gori in Particular. A 20 year-old judo wrestler, Lasha Shavdatuashvili, became an Olympic champion. He fought hard against a very experienced rival, he trusted in himself and brought the first gold medal to the Georgian national team,” he said in his letter of congratulation.

Shavdatuashvili is from the village of Karaleti in the Gori district. His family was watching on as his victory unfolded. “Lasha is very dedicated to his sport. He was training in winter and summer. He never became tired of training and this proves that you will reach what you want by your heart,” said Lasha’s father, Genadi Shavdatuashvili.