Tbilisi Grand Slam 2024 Day 1: Gold medal and marriage proposal for Liparteliani IJF

Eterli Liparteliani won the women's -57 kg at the 2024 Judo Tbilisi Grand Slam to the delight of the Georgian crowd, but it was not her only success on the first day of competition.  

After her final bout, in which she defeated Canada's Jessica Klimkait, Liparteliani's boyfriend Temur Nozadze, a Georgian judoka in the men's -60 kg category, proposed to her in front of the crowd and she said "Yes".

The other Canadian in the women's -57 kg category, Christa Deguchi, finished third this time. She lost to Slovenia's Kaja Kajzer in the quarter-finals but bounced back in the repechage round. However, Deguchi, who is ranked first in the Olympic 57 kg category, remains ahead of Klimkait for a place at Paris 2024.

Lipartelian's victory was the only cause for celebration for the home crowd, as there were no other Georgian medallists on Day 1. Giorgi Sardalashvili was the main contender in the men's -60 kg category, but he lost his semi-final to Israel's Yam Wolczak and then couldn't beat Azerbaijan's Balabay Aghayev for third place. Wolczak later lost his final bout to Kazakhstan's Nurkanat Serikbayev.

Nurkanat Serikbayev of Kazakhstan won gold in the men's -60 kg category. IJF
Nurkanat Serikbayev of Kazakhstan won gold in the men's -60 kg category. IJF

Another Georgian, Tokyo 2020 silver medallist Vazha Margvelashvili, was eliminated in the second round of the men's -66 kg category by eventual tournament champion Ivan Chernykh (AIN).

Tokyo 2020 champion Distria Krasniqi (Kosovo) was stunned by Junior European silver medallist Ariane Toro Soler (Spain) in the quarter-finals of the women's -52 kg category. Toro Soler went on to win the competition, with Krasniqi taking bronze. Korea's Hyekyeong Lee won the women's -48kg category.

All the medallists from Day 1 at the 2024 Tbilisi Grand-Prix

Women's -48 kg:
1. Hyekyeong Lee (Korea).
2. Laura Espadinha (France).
3. Zongying Guo (China).
3. Galiya Tynbayeva (Kazakhstan).

Women' -52 kg:
1. Ariane Toro Soler (Spain).
2. Ana Viktorija Puljiz  (Croatia).
3. Distria Krasniqi (Kosovo).
3. Mascha Ballhaus (Germany).

Podium in the women's -52 kg category. IJF
Podium in the women's -52 kg category. IJF

Women's -57 kg:
1. Eteri Liparteliani (Georgia).
2. Jessica Klimkait (Canada).
3. Christa Deguchi (Canada).
3. Rafaela Silva (Brazil).

Men's -60 kg:
1. Nurkanat Serikbayev (Kazajistan).
2. Yam Wolczak (Israel).
3. Balabay Aghayev (Azerbaijan).
3. Tornike Tsjakadoea (Netherlands).

Women's -66 kg:
1. Ivan Chernykh (Individual Neutral Athlete).
2. Sardor Nurillaev (Uzbekistan).
3. Ruslan Pashayev (Azerbaijan).
3. Willian Lima (Brazil).