Czech judoka Lukáš Krpálek wins second Olympic gold after moving up in weight class

Krpálek defeated Georgia's Guram Tushishvili in the +100 kg competition yesterday for his second Olympic gold after 2016.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 31.07.2021 09:27 (updated on 01.08.2021)

Czech judoka Lukáš Krpálek has won the Czech Republic its third gold medal at the this year's Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and his second consecutive gold medal in judo after the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Krpálek defeated Georgia’s Guram Tushishvili in the gold medal +100 kg competition yesterday after topping Japan’s Hisayoshi Harasawa in the semifinals.

Krpálek is the reigning world champion heavyweight judoka (2019) and previously won a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio in the men's 100 kilogram category. He moved up in weight class for the 2020 games, but still weighed in considerably lighter than most of his opponents at 111 kilograms.

"It's always said that winning a gold medal in a big competition is hard, but to defend it is even harder," Krpálek told reporters after the match.

"For me, it was amplified by the fact that I changed weight class. We knew there could be less chance than in the lower class. But it was great motivation for me to try it. it worked out, so it's something amazing. I don't know if it has sunk in yet. It's beautiful."

"It's the biggest and most beautiful success I've ever achieved. A lot of matches were very tactical, so as not to make a mistake and lose. Still, everything worked out, it was wonderful all day and I enjoyed it."

Krpálek's gold medal gave the Czech Olympic Team two on the same day after canoeist Jiří Prskavec won the K1 Men's Slalom earlier in the day.

"When I watched [Prskavec] win the gold medal, it gave me an immense boost," said Krpálek.

"It motivated me for us to sit together in the evening, have gold on our necks, and say that it was a really successful day."

On Thursday, Jiří Lipták won gold in the trap shooting competition to give the Czech team its first gold medal.

The Czech Republic is now up to six medals at the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, with three golds, two slivers, and one bronze. Czech tennis stars will compete for gold medals in the women's singles and women's doubles categories this weekend.

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