Gviniashvili did everything right until the semi-finals, where he met an old friend, Serbian former world champion Nemanja Majdov. These two have been in the category for so long that they are already part of the furniture, but the years go by and they continue to give trouble and create problems for others. Majdov also had a calm morning with no-one at his level, not until the semi-finals. They know each other so well that they ended up exhausted, with a golden score involved, of course, and all possible energy used. In these cases, the thing usually ends with the error of one of the two contenders, and this time was no exception. Three minutes later, Majdov had two shido and a cumbersome bandage on his head because he was bleeding. The Serbian was on the ropes and exhausted and that is not the most ideal situation against Gviniashvili. Third shido, hansoku-make and the final, where the Georgian would face someone who was the opposite of the Serbian, someone he didn’t know.
Far away, light years from these two champions, is the Frenchman Loris Tassier, who wanders in position 150 in the ranking, so you can see the stark distance between them. However, Tassier does not have the face of a sparring partner, he is not satisfied with so little and in Abu Dhabi he showed what he is capable of. Those who did not take the Frenchman seriously paid dearly, especially Tajik Ustopiriyon in the quarter-finals. In the semi-finals there was another like him, better classified, but with the same ambition. Dutchman Jesper Smink is tired of being plan B when Noel van T End isn’t around, especially as van T End hasn’t done anything of note since 2019. As opportunities are there to be seized, Smink made it to the semi-finals, and there is no message more powerful than victory. The Frenchman is very good and diversifies his offences by mixing sweeps and hip movements and does not object to the ground. The incredible thing is that he only ranks 150th at 25 years old, but we have seen stranger things. True to himself, he went straight for the win and scored waza-ari and instead of managing his lead like a veteran, he tried to finish it off with ippon. That might not appeal to some conservative coaches, but we love it and judo is about that, winning and doing it fairly. Thus he won again, with another waza-ari that catapulted him to the final.
It was a first final and against Gviniashvili and for Tassier it was entering a new dimension, like when a child learns to ride a bicycle without going through the phase of four wheels. Tassier wanted to tell the Georgian that he was not afraid and tried to practise his judo, but the illusion lasted forty seconds, waza-ari and osae-komi and that’s why Gviniashvili is number four in the world and the Frenchman is number 150, but let’s hope that the Frenchman left with a good taste in his mouth after a magnificent tournament. Besides, now he already knows how to ride a bicycle. As for Gviniashvili, he is an old fox who did nothing but what was expected of him.
Dzhakhongir Madzhidov was unable to add a bronze for Tajikistan, losing by osae-komi against Smink in a fight that lasted as long as the Dutchman wanted, who in the process took away the thorn of having lost in the semi-finals.
Kazakhstan’s Didar Khamza had a more difficult time against Majdov, but it remained to be seen if the Serb had regained his strength after his titanic effort against Gviniashvili. Majdov didn’t seem too affected and quickly took control but neither of them went on the attack. What they did was cancel each other out and that caused the arbitration sanction for both of them. In golden score Majdov went to the higher speed and scored the waza-ari that gave him the second bronze.
Final (-90 kg)
GVINIASHVILI Beka (GEO) vs TASSIER Loris (FRA)
Bronze Medal Fights (-90 kg)
MADZHIDOV Dzhakhongir (TJK) vs SMINK Jesper (NED)
KHAMZA Didar (KAZ) vs MAJDOV Nemanja (SRB)
Final Results (-90 kg)
1. GVINIASHVILI Beka (GEO)
2. TASSIER Loris (FRA)
3. SMINK Jesper (NED)
3. MAJDOV Nemanja (SRB)
5. MADZHIDOV Dzhakhongir (TJK)
5. KHAMZA Didar (KAZ)
7. TSELIDIS Theodoros (GRE)
7. USTOPIRIYON Komronshokh (TJK)