Lukas Krpalek is on top of the podium in the heavyweight division at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. It’s always difficult to win a medal, but to win two golds from two different categories is almost unbelievable – this is what Krpalek managed to do.
In 2016 he won gold medal at -100 kg!
In the final Tushishvili seemed to take the lead and Krpalek was penalised twice. One more shido and the victory would have gone to Georgia but this is when sport and judo are incredible. Within a couple of seconds Krpalek scored a waza-ari, which he immediately followed on the floor to pin down his opponent for ippon.
Lukas Krpalek (CZE) became the third judoka to win Olympic gold in two different events, after Wim Ruska (NED) and Waldemar Legien (POL).
After the victory Krpalek said:
“The most difficult part of today was to defeat Harasawa. He knows me well and as everyone has seen the Japanese squad have prepared for the Games very well. I felt so relieved to get into the final. Tushishvili defeated me twice before so I had a plan and it was hard as well but in the end I won. I will try to push to be in París but right now I just want to rest.”
“When I won gold at Rio, it was a special moment for me and something precious. In Rio, I said that I am going to do the 100-plus category to get a new motivation and try to achieve what I achieved in the under-100 category: to win the world championships, European championships and Olympic Games. Those are very difficult steps to take. I didn’t really believe I could do it. It was a huge dream for me. I didn’t believe till the last moment, but I managed it, and I achieved it.”
“It’s precious to stand on the podium with Teddy. He is a great personality. I am admiring him my whole career. When I was competing in the under-100kg category, I watched all his competition, and I was crossing my fingers for him.”
“Every fight with him is a great honour for me, even if I lose, because I will always learn from him. To stand on the tatami with him is precious.”