Mikheil Tsutlashvili celebrated his first international medal for 2023, which came almost eight months after the 5th place in the Oran Mediterranean Games and four years after the bronze medal in the European U18 championship, a few days ago.
He was ranked 3rd at the European Open in Sofia, winning a medal… psychology, in view of the effort he is willing to make in the rest of the year, with the aim of qualifying for the Olympic Games in Paris.
A qualification that goes through the… podiums of the biggest events that exist on the calendar of the IJF and the EJU and which the 20-year-old judoka is prepared to claim with will and enormous dedication.
After all, as he said on the official website of EO Judo, he wakes up and sleeps thinking about his favorite sport, to which he has dedicated himself completely, with many hours on the tatami mats on a daily basis, but also about “Paris 2024” which is a burning desire.
The reason for Chutlashvili:
For his first medal in 2023: “The year started well. It was a medal I had wanted for a while, although of course I would have preferred gold. The third place, however, makes me determined and strengthens me to try even harder in the next races”.
For the planned competitive obligations and this year’s goals: “At the moment I know that I will participate in the Tbilisi Grand Slam. My goal is for the year to be full of medals from major competitions. In global level. I work hard to achieve my goal and above all, I believe in myself.”
On whether he considers himself the successor of the great Greek judokas: “I still haven’t achieved anything, if we exclude the bronze in the European. I haven’t shown 100% of my potential. I have a lot more to give, and only time will tell. My desire is to reach as high as possible, with the Olympic medal being the ultimate goal.”
For the help he gets from the coach of the two Olympic medalists, Nikos Iliadis: “It goes without saying that his contribution is important. With so many years of experience, it goes without saying that I was properly guided”
For the athletes he has as role models: “Of course Ilias Iliadis but also Landa Savdatuasvili (s.s. owner of three Olympic medals, one World and four European medals)”.
The secret for an athlete to reach high: “Will, huge dedication to the goal and many hours of training. Personally, I wake up and go to sleep with only judo on my mind. Even if in between I’ve been training for 5 to 6 hours.”
Olympic participation in Paris or Los Angeles: “I would like to qualify for Paris. To have the opportunity to claim an Olympic medal. I know that time is not on my side, but I will try to claim the qualification. I dream about it often. I will do my best regardless of the final result. Unfortunately in Sofia, the bronze medal did not amount to many points. I need to medal in bigger events to be able to get points in the Olympic ranking of my category. If I still can’t make it to Paris, of course I’m willing to wait until Los Angeles. With more experience, more dedication and endless hours of training to chase the dream.”
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