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PHoto: Lukas Krpalek - EJU

LUKAS KRPALEK - NEW HEAVY WEIGHT EUROPEAN CHAMPION

What an event it was in Tel Aviv Israel. It was the first European Judo Championships for IPPONGEAR and it couldn't be held at a better place. Israel showed their full passion for Judo and it was a proud moment for IPPONGEAR when Lukas Krpalek won his European Title in front of an extatic crowd.

Lukas Krpalek against Tamerlan Bashaev in the final

By the end of the day, the podium of the +100 kg saw two youngsters and two more experienced champions standing side by side. The person, who most would expect to be on the rostrum was Guram Tushishvili, however, not only him but the whole Georgian team left empty handed. The last national anthem of the tournament was the Czech national anthem played for European, World and Olympic Champion, Lukas Krpalek (CZE). 

+100kg Gold medallist, Lukas KRPALEK (CZE):

You are already European, World and Olympic Champion, but in the -100kg category. Now you won another title in the +100kg category. What is the different of those titles and the one you won today?   

“It is a big difference. At the -100kg people were more technical and powerful. In this weigh class, everyone is really strong, so I need to spend time in the gym every day to get stronger and stronger. I need to be able to move bigger opponents because in this weight category I have some big opponents. At the moment, I feel like for the first two minutes I am always struggling as I am not physically there yet. If, I survive the first two minutes, normally I feel greater than my opponents.” 

Have you had a chance to fight with Tamerlan Bashaev before? What has helped you to overcome him today?

“Yes, I fought with him at training camps before. I knew he has good technique, he is a strong young judoka. I am not sure actually why I was better today, I couldn’t tell you. I just had a better day maybe.”

What’s the next target? 

“I definitely want to be World Champion in the +100kg and I am going to start the qualification and the hard work towards Tokyo 2020.” 

The Heavy Weight Podium at the European Championships

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