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Judo In Montenegro

Judo In Montenegro/Božidar Markuš

that he should be

that he should be careful because his opponent was very strong and successful. What he wanted often would not come true but one thing never happened – he never thought of giving up his goal. Before the greatest success achieved by Bečanovič at the 1987 European Championship in Paris and the 1989 World Championship in Belgrade, there were uncertainties in professional circles about his techniques, which were considered not fully developed and mature enough for top international results and his perfomance was believed to be very flawed in terms of technique. On one occasion, after the national team’s preparations for the European Championship in Novi Sad, Bečanović approched me as a member of the Expert Council of the Judo Union of Yugoslavia asking me to inquire with the national team coach Mrvaljević why Cuk (Slovenia) was on the team and not him. I asked Mrvaljević the question and he, in the presence of Bečanović, replied: “Cuk is an older and more experienced competitor. If I put on Bečanović on the team and he loses, everybody will blame me”. When I informed Mrvaljević that Slavko Obadov, the national team coach at the preparations, said that Bečanović was by far the best and should be put on the team, he added: “Bečanović’s performance is with many shortcomings, he is not at his best when it comes to grappling, and, in addition to this all, his flexibility is poor.” Bečanović laughed and I asked Mrvaljević: “How is it that Bečanović has done so well with so many weaknesses and what are we supposed to do with those competitors who “lack nothing” but out of Yugoslavia are always eliminated in the first round?” Mrvaljević stuck to the view that he had chosen well and that the issue of “the first list” in that class (under 65 kg) was to be resolved after the national championship. In 1987, in Paris, just before the start of the European Championship Bečanović told his fellow national team members:“Today I’ll kill them all”. It did not surprise the athletes because it was not the first time for Bečanović to make such a confident statement, but the coach also heard it and commented: “He is crazy, he has no idea where he is now”! 166

Bečanović was ranked second in the competition, and the next year we, as federal referees, watched the tape of the Refereeing Commission of the European Judo Union where the final match in which Bečanović participated was set as an example of a huge refereeing mistake at the expense of Bečanović. His opponent was literally crawling through the whole final part of the fight keeping the advantage gained at the beginning. What was really outstanding in Bečanović was his endurance, made possible by the incredibly potent cardio-vascular and pulmonary systems. At general physical fitness and conditioning training of the Yugoslav national team when all other athletes would fall down from exhaustion and the so-called “breakdown” occurred, Bečanović would, without a single drop of sweat on his forehead, run additional circles demonstrating his superiority. These exceptional physical properties were raised to a higher level by an experienced specialist in this type of training, prof. Zoran Ćirković from Belgrade. When, two years later, Bečanović won the first place at the World Championship in Belgrade , in excitement and panting, he said: “I made it all myself!” This statement of Bečanović deserves a more profound analysis and it would be unfair to interpret it on the basis of the first impression. It contains the answers to many a question. We, who monitored the manyyear fanatical work of his, at the organizational and professional level, and helped him, felt forgotten for just a brief moment and only in that moment his statements sounded selfish. I knew what it meant and what, in fact, was behind it. Under the conditions available to him for practice and to some extent described in this book, which, unfortunately, even to this day, have not significantly changed, it is a real feat and, undoubtedly, an “entry” for Guinness to become the world champion in an Olympic discipline. 167

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Greenhill JUDO Catalog 2015