Although ranked third in the world in his category, the Ukrainian judoka believes he can defend his London 2012 Paralympic title. 20 Sep 2015
Davyd Khorava of Ukraine competes against Xu Zhao of China in the gold medal match of Men's -66 kg on day 1 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
By Nico Goda | For the IPC
“These [past] three years were happy and outstanding years. I keep developing myself, improving my skills and work for the best.”
Ukrainian Paralympic champion Davyd Khorava has shown his confidence ahead of November’s International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) European Judo Championships, despite not experiencing the top step of the podium since winning gold at London 2012.
The men’s under 66kg judoka could only manage fifth-place at the 2014 IBSA Judo World Championships in Colorado Springs, USA. Then at the World Cup in the beginning of 2015 in Eger, Hungary, Khorava took home a bronze medal. Later at the IBSA World Games in Seoul, South Korea, he again finished in the third spot.
“Of course, I have a lot to do to improve my skills, but I can assure you that I’m ready and I will defend my title,” he emphasised.
At London 2012, Khorava was part of a strong Ukrainian team that topped the judo medals table with three gold and two bronze. Khorava believes Ukraine has the chance to once again be the best judo nation. So far, eight Ukrainians are ranked in the top-three in the latest IBSA judo rankings.
Khorava is currently ranked No. 3 in his category, behind South Korea’s Jongseok Park and Uzbekistan’s No. 1 Nurbek Berdiyorov. The Ukarainian believes that the last years have been successful, despite not being able to follow-up on his Paralympic gold.
“These [past] three years were happy and outstanding years,” Khorava said. “I keep developing myself, improving my skills and work for the best.”
Khorava takes confidence in the results of his training sessions, where he has picked up the intensity and works out twice a day.
Now, one major tournament stands between Khorava and the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games: the European Championships (25-30 November) in Odivelas, Portugal.
He wants to see positive results at his upcoming competitions and utilise those toward his return to gold at Rio 2016.
“It’s necessary to have it both ways,” he said. “First and foremost I’m focused on the preparation to the Games, but at the same time keep training and preparing for the upcoming competitions.”