By Nick Butler

Under 90kg world number one Varlam Liparteliani will be leading the Georgian challenge at the nation's home Grand Prix ©IJFGeorgia's formidable men's squad will be looking to dominate on home mats at the second stop on the International Judo Federation (IJF) World Tour over the next three days in Tbilisi.

Leading the way should be world number one under 90kg star Varlam Liparteliani.

The two-time European champion, who has won silver and bronze medals at the last two World Championships, will be up against Hungary's 20-year-old world silver medallist Krisztian Toth.

Also in the draw was Liparteliani's teenaged compatriot Beka Gvinashvili.

"We're all very pleased to have an IJF event in this country and world's top fighters," said Liparteliani ahead of the event getting underway. 

"Judo is a very special sport and there is a great passion for it in Georgia.

"I wish good luck to all of our team but also to all fighters who have made the journey to compete in our country.

"I am ready to compete and so are all of my team mates."

Officials in Tbilisi announce the draw for the second IJF Grand Prix of the season ©IJFOfficials in Tbilisi announce the draw for the second IJF Grand Prix of the season ©IJF

Three other home fighters are also favoured to win in their respective male weight divisions at the event, which follows last month's season opener in Düsseldorf.

World bronze medallist and world number two Amiran Papinashvili leads the entrants at under 60kg, as does world champion Avtandili Tchrikishvili at under 81kg and European silver medallist Adam Okruashvili in the over 100kg heavyweight competition.

Mongolia is another nation to field a strong men's squad, along with Germany, who will look to dominate the under 100kg event with both Karl-Richard Frey and Olympic bronze medallist Dimitri Peters entered.

With few entrants from Asia, European nations will look to lead the way in the women's events, with the under 63kg discipline providing the most intriguing list of entrants.

As well as Israel's world number one Yarden Gerbi, four other members of the world's top 10 are entered, consisting of Tokyo Grand Slam winner Tina Trstenjak of Slovenia, Kathrin Unterwurzacher of Austria, Edwige Gwend of Italy and Martyna Trajdos of Germany.

Action is due to begin in the Georgian capital's Sports Palace tomorrow before continuing until Sunday (March 22). 

Watch the latest action on Judo TV here.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

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