Georgian judo star Varlam Liparteliani will compete at the London Olympics on August 1. Every day, the 23-year-old athlete is sharing his impressions with RFE/RL's Georgian Service about life behind the scenes at the world's biggest sporting event. These are his impressions as recorded on July 30.
The rain has stopped. It’s a bit windy and quite chilly. It rains almost every day here in London. Well it’s not a problem for us judokas. We don’t mind whether it’s raining or not.
But for some sports, the weather is very significant. Take archery, for instance. Our teammate Kristine Esebua couldn’t compete [on July 30] because of bad weather and her shootoff against a Chilean archer was postponed [until July 31].
As far as our judo team goes, [on July 30] it was Nugzar Tatalashvili’s turn. He competed in the [men’s] 73-kilogram category against [South Korean judoka] Ki-chun Wang. Nugzar did his best. He fought till the end but lost by a narrow margin. I still think that the referees were slightly in favor of Ki-chun Wang. But this is my biased opinion.
My day started with more training. The day when I step on the tatami [judo mat] is approaching.
We are all training very hard but we also have to lose a bit of weight. I think we have all probably gained weight because the food in the Olympic Village cafeteria is very delicious. It is very important to keep your weight stable. Even one gram above your weight category will immediately disqualify you.
This unfortunately happened to our boxer. [The only Georgian boxer, Merab Turkadze, was disqualified for weighing 300 grams above his weight category of 56 kilograms.]
I am competing in the 90-kilogram category and if I weigh even one gram more I will not be able to compete. If I weigh less it doesn’t matter. If you weigh a few kilos below your weight category then it’s perhaps even better.
[Georgian judoka Avtandil] Chrikishvili will compete in the 81-kilogram category [on July 31]. We're all looking forward to seeing him in action and cheering him on. [August 1] is my day.