European champion in 2017, he won his... 7th medal at the World championships last September in Baku ! At 31, Georgii Zantaraia (-66 kg) took a nice 3rd place. In Paris (February 9-10), the Ukrainian of Georgian origin intends to, after 3 podiums, finally win the tournament which has refused him since 2007, date of his first appearance at Bercy.
By Ludovic Mauchien
You didn’t do any competition since the World’s in Baku. Why ?
The most important competitions of the year are the World and European championships. I make priority on them.
What have you done since ?
I fought at clubs’ competitions and prepared for 2019.
What was your training ?
After Baku, they gave me a little bit of rest. Then, I began to train in my club. I mainly trained in Ukraine with the national team.
Is your bronze medal in Baku confirm you in your training and approach of competition ?
Bronze is not gold, but still, it is not a bad result. A medal is a confirmation that I am on the right path. A medal is a reward for your work, so I knowingly worked.
What do you expect from the Paris Grand Slam ? What are your ambitions ?
Paris is one of my favorite cities, I always come there with great joy. I feel comfortable during fights when I am in Paris. I haven’t win a gold medal yet in Paris and I am expecting it.
Is Paris a special tournament ? Is it the kind that you don’t want to miss ?
Paris is one of the strongest tournaments in the world, and I don’t want to miss it, there is the atmosphere of the strongest judo in the world.
What are your main goals for this year ?
Gold ! The Worlds in Japan and the European Games in Minsk and score points to be in the top 8 of the ranking for the Olympics.