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Alexander Wieczerzak wants to make the impossible possible again
24 Jun 2018 14:35
Alexander Wieczerzak was a great surprise at the 2017 World Championships taking the gold medal U81kg. He never won an IJF event before. The IJF spoke to Germany's reigning U81kg world champion who fights at the European Cup in Celje U90kg this weekend in preparation of the forthcoming World Championships.
IJF: Did you honestly think you could win the Worlds? Why?
Wieczerzak: 2016 wasn’t a good year for me. I had the Dengue fever from the Grand Prix trip to Cuba and after that recovery I broke my rib. That meant the end of my Rio 2016 Olympic Dream. After that I told my family: ok, bad things can happen, but next year I will win the World Championships. Giving up is not an option.
IJF: You had six contests. Tell us about the day and the challenges as you progressed and defeated world medallists and the Olympic champion.
Wieczerzak: To be honest, I was like in an tunnel: After defeating (Khasan) Khalmurzaev in the semi-final, I realised for the first time how far I came. The German crowd screamed: ‘Finale ohhho‘. I will never forget this moment. The moment I won the final still feels surreal.
IJF: Describe the feeling of being crowned world champion.
Wieczerzak: In January 2017, Takanori Nagase visited us in Germany. He was the reigning world champion and I just had in my mind: wow, he is allowed to wear the red back number. I can’t believe how it’s possible to become a world champion. And in the same year I made the impossible possible.
IJF: How has this victory changed your career and your life?
Wieczerzak: My life became more stressful :D but in a good way. Because of the fact that in Germany judo isn’t that popular, it’s a good feeling to bring judo into the German media. It’s more easy and I’m happy to tell the people how fantastic judo is.
IJF: We haven’t seen you in action since then. Where have you been and will you be in Baku to defend your title?
Wieczerzak: I was injured for a long time and after recovery I had a trainings camp in Japan. Of course I will be in Baku and my dream is to make the impossible possible again.
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Vera Davydenko (RUS)