Varlam Liparteliani is going to the European Championships in Sofia this month. It’s clear, he misses the ambiance of being a top player and still has the desire to another miracle. The Olympic Games are in two years time, why not.
Liparteliani was a World Junior Champion. He’s won three European Championship gold medals and a whopping 13 IJF World Tour gold medals. Varlam Liparteliani of Georgia also has an Olympic silver and three World Senior Championship silver medals, reminds Judo Inside.
Like most Georgians, Liparteliani has strong throwing abilities and he’s able to throw both to the left and to the right. But rather untypical for a Georgian, he also likes to do groundwork. In particular, Liparteliani has an osaekomi turnover which many dub the Lipo Roll where he traps uke’s arm and turns him over using a variety of movements, depending on how uke reacts.
After years of trying to make it to the top of the podium at the Olympics and the World’s, Liparteliani went for one last hurrah last year, competing in both the Hungary World Championships and the Tokyo Olympics. In Hungary, he lost in the quarterfinal to Aleksander Kukolj of Serbia, a player he had beaten twice before. In Tokyo, he lost in the semifinal to Aaron Wolf of Japan, a player he had once beaten and once lost to.
Perhaps out of frustration, Liparteliani announced his retirement after the Tokyo Games. But now it seems he’s back. According to several sources, he will be competing in the upcoming European Championships at U100kg, alongside drop-seoi-nage specialist Ilia Sulamanidze who is the future. We knew it was itching, Liparteliani was in Paris in December with his club team Abensberg, now he’s back for real.
Liparteliani is one of the most popular judokas around and for sure there are many judo fans who will be excited to see Lipo competing again and trying to fulfil his lifelong dream of winning a World or Olympic gold (or both).