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Krpalek is fishing for that third Olympic medal

Krpalek is fishing for that third Olympic medal

19 Jan 2023 21:10
IJF Emanuele Di Feliciantonio / International Judo Federation

Definitely a surprising step taken by Lukas Krpalek. The double Olympic Champion made a choice by the heart to go back in this favourite class U100kg where he became world and Olympic Champion (as well). It might not be so easy to step back more than 10kgs as his physique was always his greatest weapon. He is one of the tallest athletes in the world along side Rafael Silva and Teddy Riner. He improved on his his groundwork though and his level of ground fighting is top class.

Pleasure is a big thing for Krpalek who wants to aim for another medal at the Paris Olympics. He could even match legend Tadahiro Nomura with three gold medals. Shohei Ono recently retired and in fact that was more likely the case for Krpalek than this step down to U100kg but he doesn’t mind the challenge and he is even more interesting to look at. Now he is certainly the tallest in his new and old category and put a lot of pressure with his height. Secondly he has the experience, but it doesn’t mean he will be successful. At least he starts working on his points at the Grand Prix in Portugal.

It's a time for weight switches and retirements but this one is definitely the most surprising. Previously another (former) Olympic Champion stepped back, Fabio Basile went from U73kg to U66kg. Krpalek took it easy after the Olympic Games but couldn’t convince and take his Olympic form, although his quality is to peak at the right time. This is exactly why we can be confident he will work towards a fine result in Paris.

Another weapon is his left osotogari, with the side of his fishing hand and sets it diagonally when grappling, and scored many points with this technique. Although it is used infrequently, it also has a right shoulder throw with a drop that is the opposite of the kumite as a surprise attack technique.

We won’t be surprised if he catches another big fish in Paris in 2024.

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