Updated 23. 10. 2022 17:31
Judist Lukáš Krpálek won the Grand Slam in Abu Dhabi. In the final of the weight category over 100 kilograms, the two-time Olympic champion defeated the reigning European champion of the Netherlands, Jur Spijkers, on ipon.
Krpálek won the Grand Slam tournament for the third time in his career and after a nine-year break. Before that, he succeeded twice in 2013 in Paris and Tokyo in the 100 kg category.
On the way to the triumph in Abu Dhabi, Krpálek knocked out the Italian Sylvain Lorenzo Agra, the Slovenian Enej Marinić and the world number one Temur Rachimov from Tajikistan. In the final, the 31-year-old native of Jihlava also dealt with Spijkers.
During the fight, Krpálek was reprimanded twice for passivity, but in the last, fifth minute, he pinned his opponent to the mats and could celebrate his first victory since last year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“To be honest, I don’t always know what to think of this opponent… However, in the second half of the match, I managed to keep him in possession in the fight on the ground and win the tournament,” Krpálek told Czech Television.
Krpálek fought against Spijkers after more than four years and succeeded again. In March 2018, he defeated the Dutch judoka at the European Cup in Prague in overtime in the match for third place.
With the triumph in Abu Dhabi, Krpálek improved his mood after the failure at the recent World Championship, where he was eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Other Czech judokas did not do well at the Grand Slam. On Saturday, Renata Zachová won at least one match in the weight class up to 63 kg. David Pulkrábek (up to 60 kg), David Klammert (up to 90 kg) and Věra Zemanová (up to 57 kg) finished in the tournament right after the first fight.