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Empathic Henk Grol gives European medal away
27 Jun 2015 20:35
Dutch Henk Grol was extremely happy with his European title. Since 2008 he didn’t have the pleasure of taking a gold medal at a major championship. Since then he suffered many injuries, uncountable even and also uncountable are the rule changes in the world of judo. Especially since 2012 when leg grabbing was taken out and Grol was a pure specialist.
Krpalek is the World and European Champion but in the past he was an opponent suitable for Grol winning four out of their five previous matches.
"I have a good track record against him and I think that I'm the only one who can throw him, which I've done both in the world championships and in the Olympics. That was my plan, he is physically very strong and I had to survive the last minute, but I got some penalties and that was no problem. He is a hard fighter and it's always close. Of course I have some secrets against him, but I can't reveal them."
After tasting the sweet in 2008 only silver and bronze medals at world level were Grol’s stake, worst of all subsequently losing three finals.
"It's really a fantastic feeling to be back on top of the podium. I've turned 30 so I'm in the last years of my career and I want to win as much as possible before I quit. I've lost three European finals, two in golden score. I was very close many times, but it's a hard weight category."
"I have one big dream and that is (about) Thursday 11 August 2016, at the Olympic Games in Rio. I've dreamed about that for all my life, I've taken two bronze medals, I was really close in 2008 (at the Beijing Olympic Games), but threw the bronze medal away in the semifinal, so a gold there is still on my mind and that's what I'm training for."
On the stage Grol was wearing his European championships medal - not the European Games one - after the medal ceremony.
"I have a friend who is sick with a muscle disease and I will give this medal to him. His name is Wout and he is five or six years old. We did a triathlon together (GROL used a specially adapted bike to carry Wout during the triathlon) and it was a really good day so I want to show my appreciation to him, how proud I am of him, and give him my medal."
Grol won the third gold medal for the Netherlands which gave Holland a second position in the World Ranking behind Russia. With three won finals that turns exactly the weakness of the country. Since 2004 Holland lost one Olympic final (2008), 8 World Championships finals (5 won) and 13 European finals (11 won).
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