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Konstantinos Tsaparas: “The gold medal will come in the future – Judo is in my DNA”


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The semi-final of the -60k. in the European Cup in Naples, where a total of 49 athletes participated, has just ended and Konstantinos Tsaparas realizes that this time, he has secured a place on the winners’ podium.

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That the final and the medal in a major event of the European Judo Union (EJU), is now a fact. That at the age of 16, he reaches the greatest distinction of his career so far. The emotion was huge (hence his reaction to grab his head as if he couldn’t believe what he had achieved), as he revealed in the statements he made on the official website of EO Judo, even if a little later, he did not manage to win the gold medal he so desired. “In the future it will come,” he says.

A few days after the silver in Naples, the young judoka was crowned champion of Greece among young men in the event held in Thessaloniki, proving that a bright star follows him. And it couldn’t be otherwise, since Konstantinos continues the tradition of his father and coach, Yiannis Tsaparas, one of the leading Greek judokas, with a Mediterranean medal, countless Panhellenic titles, etc.

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And if his future in judo, he cannot know exactly, the opposite is the case with his University training, since he deals a lot with programming and in general IT and his goal is to study at the Technical University of Athens in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Engineering Computers, while he would also like a master’s degree abroad. And all this alongside his great love, judo!

The word to Konstantinos Tsaparas

What was the first thing that came to your mind when you realized you had won a medal in Naples?

“When I won the semi-final I felt really emotional, which I think showed in my reaction. The first thing I thought when I realized I had reached the final was that I can also win the gold medal, which unfortunately I didn’t win, but I’m sure it will come in the future.”

How many times have you watched the European Cup final with your coaches so you can understand what went wrong so you can fix it in the future?

“I watched the final first by myself and then with my coaches several times, so that I could understand my mistakes in order to improve as an athlete in the future. In other words, I understood that I should attack faster and before my opponent, in order not to pass remarks for non-combativeness. While also, I understood with the observations of my coaches that I will have to strengthen my grip, so that I can impose my game in the match.”

First European medal and soon after Greek champion among young men. I imagine this month will be one to remember, until the next big sporting moment in your career?

“Yes this month was very important for me as this medal was my first at a high international level. It was also after a very difficult year for me, due to a lot of injuries and bad luck, while 2023 started very well.”

Is it difficult to have your father as your coach? And if so, how do you manage it?

“No it’s not difficult at all, it just helps me more that he is my father and my coach, as he pushes me enough to improve. He also knows me so well that he can understand me and help me at every moment, better than he would if he were not my father.’

There are many competitive challenges throughout the year. Have you defined your goals?

“First the European cups starting with the Croatian cup. While my big goal is to win a medal in the big events, namely the World and European championships as well as the European Youth Olympic Festival”.

Judo runs in your family’s veins because of your father. How high would you like to go and whether judo will continue to be a family tradition in the future and with your own children when they come along.

“In my future I would like to reach as high as possible and why not also in the Olympic games. Judo for me is a very big part of my life and that’s why I would like my children to be involved in it, if of course they wish. But before I get to the point of thinking about what will happen to my own children, I would like to study at the Technical University of Athens in the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering. I’m already into IT and programming so it’s something I’m interested in doing in the future. Always in parallel with judo. It’s in my DNA.”

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