The latest Judo News offered by

Throwback interview Indrek Pertelson

20 Jun 2000 18:30

 TWOJ, the world of Judo, by Bob Willingham / judo news, results and photos
OS 2000 Indrek Pertelson

In advance of the Olympic Games in Sydney, Indrek Pertelson of Estonia is one of the medal candidates. He started judo when he was seven. Aavo Pohgala, who was originally the Soviet Union Junior Coach, has been the man I have spent most of my judo time with. He became my personal coach and I have trained with him for seventeen years.

Tell us something about Judo in Estonia

Estonia covers around 45,000 square kilometres, a similar size to Ireland, and about 2,500 people practice Judo in the 25 to 27 clubs that exist there. We have nearly 100 adults who train every day. Our club in the Capital, Tallin, has special training days when many people from other clubs in Tallin come to gain extra experience.
On the Coaching side we don't yet have a strong, clear and structured system but we are creating a system. Our national coach also coaches the juniors and his older brother is national coach for youth, although sometimes it is the brother who travels with the juniors. Estonia is small and so we don't have as many people as Russia which can produce two or three players in each weight category. To make the best use of our national reserves of people we have to concentrate on those who can really prove themselves.
Our top level players do a wide variety of training: cycling, running - distance and sprints (sometimes before breakfast) - and stretching. In summer time it's not so regular. We also play football, basketball, and many ball games.

One good thing for Estonian athletes is that the parliament, I think it was 4 years ago, agreed that high level sportsmen and women will be paid by the government for their preparation and their daily meals. The government also has the freedom to reward medal winners if it wishes. They can choose to put a value on each medal.
For me personally this means reasonable security at the moment but this will not be the case when I stop judo. As I said this money is adequate for good preparation and training, but it's not enough for any additional expenses. 

When did Estonia become independent from the USSR?
In 1991 (I think it was the 16th of August) fortunately it was almost entirely peaceful, only some tanks, but they didn't shoot. It was the only way and I am very happy it happened. In terms of judo it took time to really understand the difference between a big country system and a small country system. In Estonia you need to do a lot more for yourself. You need to find sponsors, you need to prepare by yourself. It's about self discipline but I think that's good. Of course in the Soviet Union the judo system was almost perfect (I was 4 times Soviet Union Champion, and Junior European Champion in 1990 and 1991 under their system). All those coaches and the depth of players, the preparation; it was all planned down to the smallest detail. Your obligation was only to fight and win, no more. There are many things that in Soviet Union times you waited to have done for you, but now as part of a small country you must get on and do them for yourself. In Estonia you are like other people, a normal person, if you want success you must work for it.

So how are you personally preparing for life after judo?
I am studying law. I started in 1994 but I am already on a special programme. The last two years have taken so much energy, though, as last year I was thrilled to become a father for the first time to my boy, Marcus. He was 4.3 kilos at birth (in Estonia that's average) Sometimes when he was younger I would get up for the night time feed but last year this was difficult because I was very busy. If you love your child and your wife though, you accept this and it's not really so hard. You need to put your family before your study, but now he's older it's OK anyway.

Fundraising with GoGetFunding

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Indrek Pertelson (EST) - © From internet, no source

Related Judo Videos

Related Judo News


Throwback to a controversial win Douillet vs Shinohara

22 Sep 2020 16:00

One became Minister of Sports, the other TV celeb, the final of the Sydney Olympic Games between David Douillet of France and Shinichi Shinohara was a legendary and controversial match. Exactly 20 years later JudoInside looks back to that day at 22 September 2000, drawn up by Barnaby Chesterman on behalf of The World of Judo Magazine. Read more


Report World Championships Birmingham Day 1

7 Oct 1999 22:05

There were high hopes of a British medal on the first day with Karina Bryant and Chloe Cowan both competing. After a disappointing Europeans Karina was out to prove that she had re-gained her form of last year in the +78kg. In a small field Karina scored ippon with tani-otoshi against Francoise Harteveld (NED) before a shido proved enough to overcome Miho Ninomiya (JPN) to qualify for the semi-finals. There she met the imposing frame of the giant Pole Beata Maksymov. Read more

OS 2000 Kosei Inoue of the tatami

Throwback to one of the most beautiful ippons ever

21 Sep 2020 20:25

There was never any doubt from the moment that Kosei Inoue stepped off the mat at 21 September 2000 in Sydney, 18 seconds after his first contest had begun, that Kosei Inoue of Japan would dominate the limelight on this special day of the 2000 Sydney Judo competition. JudoInside was with Inoue in a closed area just in advance of the press conference to share some magic moments of that day. In my imagination Inoue launched one of the most beautiful ippons ever. We look back to 21 September 2000, drawn up by Barnaby Chesterman on behalf of The World of Judo Magazine, 20 years ago. Read more

OS 2000 Mark Huizinga shows medal

Throwback Sydney with gold for Dutchman Mark Huizinga

20 Sep 2020 12:35

Netherlands experienced a legendary judo day 20 years ago at the Sydney Olympic Games. Mark Huizinga became the first (and last) Olympic Champion for his country after legends Anton Geesink and Wim Ruska. 20 September changed Huizinga’s life. JudoInside was the one of the first to picture Mark just after the event. We look back to 20 September 2000, drawn up by Barnaby Chesterman on behalf of The World of Judo Magazine. Read more


Throwback 19 Sep 2000 Severine Vandenhende shows France the way

19 Sep 2020 14:10

At the Olympic Games of 2000 France had to wait a long time for a gold, but at 19 September 2000 Severine Vandenhende finally gave France its first Olympic title in Sydney. Fifteen years later Vandenhende helps the younger judoka to success. JudoInside witnessed the Olympic Games in Sydney with each day new miracles at perhaps the best ever Games. We throwback to 19 September 2000, drawn up by Barnaby Chesterman on behalf of The World of Judo Magazine. Read more

Judo birthday

Result City Date
2Düsseldorf21 Feb
Result City Date
1Düsseldorf21 Feb


First description Second description Third description Four description