INTERVIEW - Dejan Georgievski: I want to bring a medal from the World Championship


The Macedonian taekwondo player Dejan Georgievski, who shone at the Tokyo 2022 Olympic Games by winning the silver medal, is working to ensure the norm for participation in the Summer Olympic Games in Paris 2024. In this pre-Olympic year, he has a very tight schedule in that "race", and on the calendar for 2023, the most important thing for him is the World Championship in May, from which he wants to return with a medal.

Macedonian Olympic silver medalist Dejan Georgievski has his hands full this year. His Olympic medal from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in addition to being a huge success, also carries a great obligation to continue the continuity. In this pre-Olympic year, Georgevski is fighting for a norm to participate in LOI Paris 2024. So far, he is doing well. With the successes achieved and the points won in the tournaments, he recorded a rise in the qualification rankings. It is now in eighth place, and the top six will secure visas for the 2024 LOI at the end of the year.

Dejan wants to secure an Olympic visa in this way. If he fails in that, an option is to participate in the qualifying tournament for Europe at the beginning of next year, through which the Olympic norm can also be secured.

This year, before Dejan is participation in the World Championship, from which he wants to bring a medal and secure points for the mentioned ranking. Recently, he participated in a tournament in Istanbul, where he brought bronze and points for the ranking, on which he is on the rise.

* What are your activities these days? What are you preparing for?

- Now I am preparing, and on February 26 we have a tournament in Slovenia of rank G-1 where points are collected for participation in the Olympic Games. All year long, our schedule is full of appearances at tournaments. This pre-Olympic year is the most important for everyone. At the end of the year, the norms are "closed" and the calendar is full of competitions so that as many points as possible can be collected.

* What comes next after the tournament in Slovenia?

– From March 3rd to 5th there is a tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria, also qualifying for LOI. Also in class G-1. Next is our tournament on April 8 and 9 in Skopje. It will be the first G-1 tournament held in Skopje, where points will also be collected for participation in the LOI. There will be competition from all over the world because the match will mean a lot. It is good that we are the organizers of such a tournament. In addition to the competitive moment, it is also important that our audience will be able to see top world competitors. We should try our best to promote this event. As soon as he earns points for participation in the 2024 IOC, the world sees him very differently. Then many other tournaments follow... We will also perform at the European Olympic Games in Poland in June. We from taekwondo will participate in those Games for the first time. So I don't know the details yet...

* However, which are the most important matches for you this year, which will be your focus?

- The most important thing for us this year is the World Championship, which will be held in May in Azerbaijan. There are also grand prix competitions that are very important, because they bring a lot of points in that race to ensure the norm for the Olympic Games 2024. I hope to bring home a medal this year from the World Championships. I have medals from the European Championship, from the Mediterranean Games, from the Olympic Games. I miss a world championship medal. I hope this year will be the same. As for the Grand Prix competitions, there are four. The last grand prix brings the most points because it has the strongest competition. The last is in December, the first is spring in Rome.


* You are climbing that ranking list for LOI 2024 which will "close" at the end of the year...

- Now I am eighth in the qualification ranking for the Summer Olympic Games in Paris. The first six will qualify for the LOI. It should be said that this list is currently far from final, on the contrary, it is constantly changing depending on the results we achieve. The difference in points between the competitors is small and a lot can change with one game. There are still many matches until the end of the year.

* The race to participate in LOI 2024 will be more and more intense this year. Do you feel pressure?

- I don't feel pressure. We have already done it once, now I hope that everything will be as it should be this time. I hope to secure a direct norm, there will be no need to go to that qualifying tournament. But even if I go, it won't be a big problem. We will bring a norm. We did it the first time (LOI Tokyo 2022), we can do it again. That tournament is also a risk, only one match. Last chance. But I think that this time I will enter the top six of the mentioned ranking and I will provide a norm directly.

* For a long time now, you have been returning with a medal from every competition you participate in. Is it difficult to maintain continuity?

– It is very difficult to maintain result continuity. I don't always win first place, but it's good that we're always in the top. That's better than being first in two games and then being gone for a whole year. It is important for us to have as many medals as possible, as many victories as possible, because every victory brings points for securing an Olympic qualification.

* Do you have time for other activities besides taekwondo?

- My whole year is filled with taekwondo. We go to matches, between matches there are preparations and that is my life. This is a pre-Olympic year and it is very important to us, it means a lot to us. This pre-Olympic year is even tougher until next year when the Olympics are. I hope we get her out properly.

* How much can we hope for Olympic standards from our other competitors, Filip Dodevski and Anamaria Georgievska?

- As for Filip Dodevski and Anamaria Georgievska, I don't think they will be able to secure norms through these competitions this year, where points are collected for the qualifying ranking list. But in that qualifying tournament, that last chance, I'm sure they'll be able to participate and bring the norm. They have the quality for it. Maybe someone else from Macedonia will get involved in that "race" to participate in the 2024 IOC.

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