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Alexander Wieczerzak made the impossible possible

31 Aug 2017 19:35

   IJF Media Team / International Judo Federation

What an amazing day for Alexander Wieczerzak of Germany. He became the surprising World Champion and he still cannot believe it. He is the fourth male World Champion ever for Germany and surprised the full elite today in Budapest.

He started his World Championships dream with a world level opponent in double World Champions medallist Antoine Valois-Fortier of Canada. He continued against European Champion and World number one Alan Khubetsov, just to address that Wieczerzak didn’t get it for free today.

Erihemubatu, Chinese judoka was set aside in round three and then he silenced the hall after his victory over Laszlo Csoknyai of Hungary.

The semi final against Khasan Khalmurzaev is another ball game. Khalmurzaev the Olympic Champion was poised to win the world title, looked stable but got surprised by the German who was irresistible today. The joy, the fighting spirit and the flow brought the beast in him. He defeated Khalmurzaev by wazari and he had a guaranteed World Championships medal. During the match he got a slap on his nose, which later turned out delivered him a broken nose, he noticed the day after that his nose hurt a lot.

On the other side of the table, another big surprise, although we know Matteo Marconcini as number five of the Olympic Games in Rio, but again he had the right flow. Marconcini defeated Mrvaljevic, Bottieau, Ungvari, Otgonbaatar and Saeid Mollaei of Iran in the semi final who won the bronze.

 “I told after the quarter final that this is my day, I am going to win this competition. I came to here to Budapest to win, to be the next world champion. For me, the key was to think always fight to fight, focus on only the next match, goes forward step by step.”

Wieczerzak and Marconcini had never met before but it was the German who caught Marconcini by ippon. In 1991 Udo Quellmalz and Daniel Lascau became world champion, in 1995 Quellmalz regain the title and in 2003 in Japan Florian Wanner had a comparable stunt. Today it was Wieczerzak to write history.

Marconcini said: „It’s a perfect although I lost the final. I had too many injuries in my past, I have spent ten years without medal at world championships, so fighting in the final was the best performance of my whole life. At Olympics I fought for the bronze medal and today I could fight for the gold. I feel very happy, I still can’t believe that it’s real.”

Saeid Mollaei (IRN) took bronze and is the first since in 2007 the legendary Arash Miresmaeili (he won four medals including two world titles) who won a World Championships medal for his country. „For the name of God I would like to say thank you for this victory to the president of the Iran’s Judo Federation, to my coaches, who supported me from the beginning and to my family. It is a fantastic feeling to win a bronze medal, I am really happy I could win the fight for the third position.”

Khasan Khalmurzaev (RUS) was on his way for a good result but the machine was stopped by the legendary German. „I came here to be a world champion, of course, but my left hand was injured at the preliminary fights and I couldn’t grab with it properly. I was struggling with this problem all day after then. Now I feel disappointed, but I will continue the work and I hope to claim the gold medal in the future.”

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  • Alexander Wieczerzak (GER) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Alexander Wieczerzak (GER) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation
  • Alexander Wieczerzak (GER) - World Championships Budapest (2017, HUN) - © IJF Media Team, International Judo Federation

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