SPORTS
Canoer Zaza Nadiradze claims the first ever gold medal in canoeing
18 June, 2018
Canoer Zaza Nadiradze claims the first ever gold medal in canoeing. This is the first ever gold medal for Georgia in canoeing. Canoeing is not popular sport in the country and there are no appropriate facilities for Zaza and other canoers to exercise. So how did Zaza manage to win and what helps him to keep training? Zaza speaks about his success in an interview (with newspaper Kviris Palitra).

Championship was held in Serbia, Belgrade. In a 200 meters distance sprint
Zaza beat his rivals, Russian and Belorussian canoers with the best result – he covered the distance in 39.2 seconds. Now he is preparing to participate in 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
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Zaza claimed first ever gold medal at championship in Belgrad. Photo courtesy: kvirispalitra.ge

Zaza started training when he was 13 years old. He is from Mtskheta. In his childhood, when he had to exercise, all the boats and rows were broken, some of them used to even overturn while swimming, but it did not stop him. He and his friends were just having fun.

But bit by bit Zaza got interested in canoeing.

“I soon started to exercise. It was an interesting and extreme process” – says Zaza, “I became a member of Mtskheta canoers team, then I won the Georgian championship. I got seriously interested in canoeing and kept exercising, but because of motorcycle accident I had to quit for nearly 2 years”.
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In the beginning of his career, Zaza did not have personal boat and a row. Photo courtesy: sputnik-georgia.com

At 2016 Olympic games Zaza showed a very good results. Shortly afretwards, it became clear that he and his friends had no appropriate facilities for exercising.

“We had no conditions for exercising before, I had not had my own boat and a row, but I did not surrender” – admits Zaza, “Now I have got both of them. It is not enough, compared to what my opponents have and that affects results negatively, though. Our budget is small as well, so we have to make an economy on certain things to keep exercising”.
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Zaza is a very talanted canoer. Photo courtesy: sputnik-georgia.com

There is no high standards base to exercise for national team and every time Zaza and other canoers visit foreign countries, hosts wonder why do they have to work out there, when they have such a good waters in Georgia.

“There are four of us in National team and sometimes the budget is not enough for four men to assemble” – says Zaza.
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Zaza is a builder by profession. Photo courtesy: sputnik-georgia.com

After every success the government promises to support them, but unfortunately, it never happens.

Zaza admits, that there are many countries, who offered him to compete under their names, but he does not accept this kind of offers. “The fact that Georgian supporters are happy with my success makes me happy as well. I feel huge love from them and there is nothing more valuable than that” – says Zaza.
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Zaza during exercising. Photo courtesy: worldsport.ge

Victory at Canoe European Championship was not unexpected for Zaza. “Since 2014 I have been standing among leaders, two months ago got first place at World Tournament” – admits Zaza.

Now, Zaza is preparing to participate in 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. He will compete in 1000 meters sprint.
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Zaza and former Minister of Sports affairs Tariel Khechikashvili. Photo courtesy: sazogadoeba.ge

First photo courtesy: kvirispalitra.ge

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