BRATISLAVA. When Czech judoka Lukáš Krpálek announced an attack on the defense of the Olympic gold in the under 100 kg category some time ago, he found out that this would not be possible.
If he regularly weighed more than 110 kg, he had to be placed in the highest weight category above 100 kg.
However, even in this “super tough” category, he didn’t give up on his courageous goal, finally achieving it in the legendary Budókan Hall after his last win over Georgian Guram Tutishvili. That is, with an opponent with whom he has already lost twice before.
“I weighed 111 kilos, probably the least of all in this category. Probably nobody weighed that much,” Krpálek thought at the start of the tournament.
You waited for your chance
He had a big goal ahead of him in the final in Tokyo. And he wasn’t even stopped by two passivity penalties, as the Georgian was known for a more active start.
Krpálek tactically waited until the last minute and sent the opponent to the ground and won the wazari.
He immediately took possession of the opponent. After 10 seconds everything was clear to everyone, Krpálek achieved his second Olympic triumph.
“When I got hold of him, I had a draft in my head. I knew it would work, but I had to persevere. It was a beautiful thing. I lost to him twice when I didn’t guard my start.
Now I was determined to persevere and wait for my chance. Even at the cost of fines for inaction. The plan was nice, but the execution was painful. I’m even better that it worked out for me in the Olympics,” Krpálek told Czech media.
He did not meet the desired opponent in the final
In addition to the Olympic title from Tokyo, the thirty-year-old and almost two meters tall from Jihlava wanted a triumph over the two-time Olympic champion and ten-time world champion Frenchman Teddy Riner.
However, the world judo legend did not make it past the quarterfinals, so Krpálek had to compete against other opponents.
Riner eventually won the bronze after the previous win in the repechage, but Krpálek has the gold.
“I really wanted to get him in the final. It didn’t work out, but the rest did,” laughed the Czech representative.
Krpálek agrees with the old sports truth that defending the title is always harder than winning it for the first time.
“For me, it was made even more so by changing weight class. I was aware that my chances would be a bit smaller.
However, I had a huge motivation to try what no one else had done before. And that propelled me forward. Something amazing has happened and I don’t even know if it will even happen to me,” Krpálek added on the IDnes.cz portal.