The latest Judo News offered by

Lukas Krpalek immortal after first Olympic title for Czech Republic

12 Aug 2016 00:05

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation
20160811_IJF_JW_Lukas Krpalek_handswide

Anyone could become Olympic champion in the men’s U100kg division. The field had so many favourites that each of the participants could knock out the elite. The elite has a short expiry date. The World medallists of Astana last year had no guarantee for a medal. In the field two former Olympic champions, and they were knocked out in the first round. Four World champions and Lukas Krpalek came on top today.

The Czech superman won the world title in 2014 but hadn’t won any gold medal outside his country. Meanwhile he married, became fifth at the World Championships and at this year’s European Championships he even finished ninth. But at 11 August, all pieces were on his plate in the right order.

The first piece of the puzzle was not so easy to close, Portuguese Jorge Fonseca led in his match with Krpalek by yuko until the last minute but Krpalek scored waza-ari and proceeded. Also 2009 World Champion Maxim Rakov was defeated needing the full five minutes and in the third round Ryunosuke Haga, the 2015 World Champion was defeated. Lukas didn’t get it for free today. The tall Czech, likely the tallest in the field had to battle with current world number one Cyrille Maret, a match with history. In Paris last year Maret defeated Krpalek and the results required a revenge. Today all revenge matches of his life were compensated, it was all worth it.

Meanwhile Elmar Gasimov of Azerbaijan qualified for the final via victories over former World and Olympic champion Tagir Khaibulaev, Lyes Bouyacoub and Ramadan Darwish and in the semi final Artem Bloshenko was the unexpected joker from the Ukraine. Bloshenko overcame Cho Guham (KOR) and vice world champion Karl Richard Frey. Compared to Krpalek, Gasimov had a ticket to the final, but Gasimov defeated Krpalek three times in five matches. In their sixth confrontation Krpalek took the initiative and finished the match by ippon in the last minute. After almost 25 minutes fighting against the best athletes in the world of the amazing Olympic day, Lukas Krpalek was crowned Olympic champion. The Champion said: “Many people told me, 'Lukas, you will be champion, you will be champion'. That was very hard. A lot of people in Czech Republic had huge expectations. I am the number one in the Czech Republic and I am a legend in judo at home. "In the first round and in the second round I did not feel so good. Every match was so hard, but the first and the second match were even harder, because I fought with small guys and I don't like that. I am very proud that I could win the first Olympic medal for Czech Judo, the gold medal. It is amazing."

Krpalek was overwhelmed with emotions after his friend Alexandr Jurecka died at a diving accident in September 2015, Krpalek carried his photo on the podium to remind Jurecka. Krpalek spoke about his touching tribute to his friend and teammate Alexandr Jurecka: "In the last two matches I thought so strongly about my friend. I can't lose the match. I was thinking about him the whole day and especially in the last two matches. I had his picture with me all the time."

Cyrille Maret won the bronze against Karl Richard Frey, it wasn’t the best day for Germany and for Frey. The French were more successful with two medals. Japan disappointed with one bronze medal for world champion Ryunosuke Haga who came back in the repechage with two victories over Beka Gviniashvili, he was good, but not good enough. After the Georgian warrior Haga caught Artem Bloshenko for the bronze medal, but it wasn’t the colour he came for. That gold medal was for the Czech Republic, their first ever medal in judo. Krpalek is legend forever, but also realises he is not immortal, he is human.

Fundraising with GoGetFunding

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Lukas Krpálek (CZE), Elmar Gasimov (AZE) - 2016 Olympic Games day 6 Judo U100kg & U78kg (2016, BRA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Lukas Krpálek (CZE), Alexandr Jurecka (CZE) - 2016 Olympic Games day 6 Judo U100kg & U78kg (2016, BRA) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News

20140209_Paris_MARET, Cyrille (FRA) - KRPALEK, Lukas (CZE)1

Men's semis full of surprises, women by the books

11 Aug 2016 18:10

Not everyone can win, so in principle everything goes by the book in the women’s category U78kg. The favourites are still lined up where Kayla Harrison (USA) and Mayra Aguiar (BRA) have the highest odds with the bookies. The experts know that Aguiar will have to battle with Audrey Tcheumeo, certainly the best of the rest. However Aguiar has a record of 5-1 against the French and is by far the favourite. You can’t imagine more dominance but Kayla Harrison against Maria Velensek of Slovenia have fought eight times and all won by Harrison. Read more

20160122_Havana_1_Kamal Khan-Magomedov

Luxury dilemmas for Russia and Brazil in the World Ranking

25 Jan 2016 16:25

Conclusion from the Grand Prix in Havana is position improvements in the latest IJF World Ranking for the top athletes of Russia, Brazil and Hungary and some minor changes for some of the finalists. The big winner was Havana gold medallist Artem Bloshenko of the Ukraine who’s now at 16 from 22, an almost certain qualification. In that category Karl-Richard Frey changed position with Cyrille Maret after his final in Havana. Elmar Gasimov is still leading here followed by Krpalek. Read more

20160124_Havana_100_BLOSHENKO, Artem (UKR) - FREY, Karl Richard (GER)1

Outsider Artem Bloshenko gives Ukraine Olympic medal hope

25 Jan 2016 00:10

At the Olympic Games it’s not always how good you are, what skills you have, but how you perform under pressure, the form of the day and your guts to take any risk, or not at the right moment. Artem Bloshenko of the Ukraine had the form of the day at the Grand Prix in Havana giving the Ukraine some medal hope U100kg, why not. Read more

PETERS, Dimitri (GER) - DARWISH, Ramadan (EGY)2

Ramadan Darwish brings gold back to Egypt

14 Jun 2015 19:05

A big team from Egypt had flown into Hungary to fight at the Grand Prix in Budapest. World Judo Masters bronze medallist Ramadan Darwish continued his rich vein of form in Budapest as he defeated German Olympic bronze medallist Dimitri Peters for the top spot. Peters lost their last meeting in the first round of the recent World Judo Masters in Rabat, Morocco, and cut a forlorn figure after conceding this one which was decided only on shido penalties. Read more

Toma Nikiforov_BEL

Toma Nikiforov claims European Open gold in Madrid

1 Jun 2014 19:10

Belgian heavyweight Toma Nikiforov won the European Open in Madrid U100kg. The tall Belgian talent won the final against Jevgenijs Borodavko and became the player of the day. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
2Düsseldorf21 Feb
Result City Date
1Düsseldorf21 Feb


First description Second description Third description Four description