Lukas Krpalek: The Czech heavyweight with the toughest task in sport

Czech Republic's Lukas Krpalek celebrates after winning the gold medal against Cuba's Jose Armenteros during the -100 kg category competition at the World Judo Championships on in Chelyabinsk,on August 30, 2014. AFP PHOTO / VASILY MAXIMOV        (Photo credit should read VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Lukas Krpalek: The Czech contender to Riner
04:01 - Source: CNN

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CNN Sport sits down with Olympic, world & European champion Lukas Krpalek

Czech judo fighter has stepped up weight category since Rio 2016

In his way is all-time great, Teddy Riner

Prague, Czech Republic CNN  — 

The Czech Republic’s first ever Olympic judo champion was already plotting his next move before he’d removed the gold medal from around his neck.

Victory in the half heavyweight (90-100kg) category at Rio 2016 had been “the most beautiful moment” of his whole career. But it wasn’t enough.

Instead Lukas Krpalek’s journey was just beginning. And, not content with reaching the pinnacle of his sport aged 25, he resolved to step up a weight division in a bid to win all new honors.

Standing in his way is a man who hasn’t lost for almost a decade.

“One of my great motivations was to get new medals,” Krpalek tells CNN Sport, “but it was also a chance to face Teddy Riner on the mat.”