His CV needs little explanation in the international judo scene: Lukas KRPALEK (CZE), 33, 2-time Olympic champion and world champion, 3-time European champion, 3-time Grand Slam winner and EJU athlete spokesman. The golden frame with his name on the back betrays his star status, even if the top-athlete likes to stay in the background. This was also the case during his Bundesliga team guest appearance for Galaxy Vienna last weekend.
“He’s a role model, he loves coming to Bundesliga matches, especially the Final Four, he’s been part of our team for seven years. It couldn’t be more uncomplicated, Lukas is always friendly, even when I can’t use him for tactical reasons – such as in the final against Mühlviertel,” emphasised Galaxy boss Thomas HAASMANN, a former Olympic participant (1984).
Before his take-off to Asia Lukas Krpalek talked to EJU about…
… the Bundesliga final tournament in Gmunden, Austria: “The final was just as close as last year. I think we deserved to win. I always enjoy it, I like being at Galaxy, it’s not too far for me to travel to Austria.”
… his two semi-final fights: “Of course I would have liked to fight more often, including in the final, but I understand Thomas (Haasmann), for tactical reasons he used the two other legionnaires against UJZ Mühlviertel – that was 100 per cent right (as only two foreigners are allowed per team per round). I enjoyed the day and it was exciting right up to the last fight. The atmosphere here in Gmunden is really good, you can hardly understand your own words.”
… the season finale in Japan: “I’ll be in Tokyo from Monday, but I won’t decide whether I’ll actually compete in the Grand Slam until the middle of the week. That depends on how I feel in training. I’ll definitely stay for a fortnight and train a lot.”
… the 2024 Olympic year: “I’m starting the Olympic year with the OTC in Mittersill from 8 January and will stay the whole week. The training camp is traditionally very well organised. It’s perfect for my start to the (Olympic) preparations.”
Copyright: Judo Austria/Oliver Sellner
Author: EJU Media