Basile On Different Weight Classes, Competing In The Olympics

One of the top judokas in Italy, Fabio Basile is always ready for the next big competitive event. Winning gold in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Basile has dreams of expanding his dominance.

Speaking with the International Judo Federation’s Sheldon Franco-Rooks, Basile discussed how life has been different since competition has been put on halt. He was someone who qualified for the Olympics at the last minute and won. Becoming a true fan-favorite, Basile’s interest in the sport goes way back.

“I started judo after Maddaloni won in Sydney,” Basile stated. “I said to my mother, at 6 years old, that I would win one day at the Olympic Games. Mum said to continue with study and school, that it was more important, but I said it again, ‘mum, I will win!’ If you really put the time in, the dream can become a reality. I don’t believe a lot about talent. I believe in work and dedication.”

At 25, Basile has also won bronze at the European Championships. Competing primarily in – 66kg for the men, Basile likes to challenge himself. That is why he made the move to – 73kg. The opportunity to dominate another division is always enticing. That is especially true when he already accomplished the goals he wanted to achieve.

“Once you are Olympic champion what can be next? It’s hard,” Basile went on to say. “So I think to win the Olympic Games in a new weight. If my head thinks I can’t do it, this is not a good mentality for me. If I believe I can do it, I will aim everything at it and will just work for this. Krpalek (CZE) can win the Olympic Games in a new category too, I’m sure of it, but I will do it first because I fight 3 days before.”

One of the issues Basile and other athletes are going through is the lack of training and the motivation to do so. Due to the coronavirus, the Olympics have been postponed until 2021. The IJF also suspended all competition, including Olympic qualifying bouts. As a result, the IJF created a plan to extend Olympic qualifiers from May 25 to June 30. Giving athletes even more time to prepare, this would be ideal for any athlete.

Some will complain that their training was for nothing. Basile, however, believes this is the perfect opportunity to prove oneself. Already trained? train harder.

“If you are the number one you can win it when it is in 2020 or 2021. People who complain about the change should not talk,” Basile said. “They should train. If I want to really be Olympic champion I will train and win in July 2020 or July 2021. It makes no difference. There can problems for some people who lose a lot of weight and to go for another year may be really hard for them. For me, that is no problem as I moved 3 weights in 4 years. My maximum has been 74 so far.”

While in Rome, he will continue to train as best as he can. As far as waiting for the coronavirus to pass, Basile is OK with that and will look to take care of himself and everyone around him. During this time, he will focus on things like his goal and how to be the best that you can be.

“If you want to become a champion you must accept things are hard and stay positive anyway,” stated Basile. “When things go well it’s easy but when things go badly you have to still keep positive. In the moments of struggle, you can improve and learn more, but only with that permanent positivity.”

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