Go for Gold!

People at thyssenkrupp | Our employee Levent Tuncat has made it. Next stop: Rio de Janeiro; next challenge: the summer Olympics.

Taekwondo is the discipline in which the 27-year-old will measure himself against the international martial arts elite. From August 17 to 20 he will be taking part in one of the toughest categories at the tournament on the Copacabana. Does that put him off? Quite the contrary:

I’m dangerous, I have a quick, exciting and attractive style of fighting.

Levent Tuncatthyssenkrupp employee and taekwondo pro

He hopes to prove that by picking up a medal in August. This time, he wants to win. Eight years ago in Beijing he was one of the medal favorites, but it ended in disappointment.

I was still so young, I was just overwhelmed.

Levent TuncatLevent Tuncat thyssenkrupp employee and taekwondo pro

Four years later in London, injury prevented him from competing for a medal. Now he wants to enjoy his second bite at the Olympic cherry to the full and hopes the Games will be a beautiful experience – if possible crowned by a medal.

Making the comeback

Tuncat is training hard for the forthcoming challenge in Brazil. It’s a tough road, as he knows only too well from experience. A number of injuries kept him out of the sport for three years and saw him slip to 70th in the world rankings. His comeback has taken a great deal of discipline and patience. For the past few months, rather than going to work every day in the purchasing department of thyssenkrupp’s steel division, where he’s been since 2013, he’s been at his sports club “Leopard Lengerich”, at training camps and at tournaments around the world. It’s his passion for the sport that drives him:

Doing taekwondo is an indescribable feeling – you just have to love it!

Levent Tuncatthyssenkrupp employee and taekwondo pro

If that weren’t the case, he would never have managed the triple responsibilities of full-time job, sport and family. It’s a time-consuming balancing act that places great demands on him, but Tuncat has managed it successfully: three-time European champion, 13-time German champion and now competing at his second Olympics. At the 2015 world championships in Russia he came fifth, and at the European games in Baku he won bronze. There’s just one medal missing from his collection – an Olympic one.

Ready to rumble

Just a few more weeks, then the arenas in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain will resound with the battle cries of the 16 competitors in each of four weight classes as they leap and turn with dazzling speed to land kicks on their opponents and score points. The fact that he has qualified for the Olympics proves that Tuncat is ready. It’s still a long way to Rio (at least 9,000 kilometers as the bird flies), but he is supremely motivated, and the dream of standing on the podium and the pulsating atmosphere of the competition venue keeps him focused:

That moment when you’re standing on the mat, when the voices of thousands of spectators make your legs start to tremble, that’s what spurs me on and keeps me working hard every day to move a little bit closer to winning an Olympic medal.

Levent Tuncatthyssenkrupp employee and taekwondo pro

We say: Go for it Levent! And we’ll keep you informed about our martial arts star in the coming weeks, accompanying him on his trip to Rio and reporting live from Brazil.

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