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ECC 2014 winner Speyer aims for the podium

17 Dec 2015 15:55

   Eric van den Brink
JOhanna Mueller

Last year Judo-Sportverein Speyer of Germany was the revelation of the women’s European Club Championships. By winning the title in Hoofddorp (NED) the German team qualified for the Golden League in Vienna this Saturday. That triggers expectations but the truth is different.

In this edition the girls are even more eager to take it to the podium than last year, but they are going to miss a few point chasers. Nor Barbara Matic, nor Kim Polling are in the team this time. In fact the same situation as last year when Matic was overweighted but Szaundra Diedrich had a crucial role in the team with essential points for the team. This time Diedrich is injured and one of the U63kg fighters will have to defend the points gathered in the previous three weight categories.

U52kg Verena Thumm was on steam last year and can show her best at this level as well. Italian Giuffrida who’s in the team line up is not able to fight, who could have been another eyecatcher. However the team of Speyer will have the support of Hedvig Karakas who was stable last year and with her superb groundwork she took some important points. The U57kg is in fact the strongest ace for Speyer with Johanna Müller in the team as well.

Müller rather lowers the expectations: “Puh expectation...it is difficult this year! The success from last year pushed us so much. We won the German Team Championship, the Bundesliga final. The Team is happy to fight at the Golden League but we will miss a few of the girls, especially in U70kg.”

Guaranteed points? Well with Roper (Samurai) might play a role as well, but so far this category gives chances for Speyer. Strong Kosovarian Nora Gjakova will fight for Galatasaray and obviously The Swiss women Kocher and Csatari have developed well this year in the team of Cortaillod (SUI).

U63kg Speyer will miss Nadja Bazynski, also injured and either Bräuniger or Dietzer will likely fight U70kg. On the other hand, Jasmin Kuelbs is now a strong and heavy asset as last point for the German team. With Karakas last year also Abigel Joo was part of the team and Maike Ziech is a useful backup to have.

Mueller: Despite the losses U70kg, this year we have a big win in +70 with Jasmin Külbs, so I hope we can reach the podium, and qualify for the next edition. “With the German team spirit and a bit a luck, we will take it to the max in Vienna again, but it won’t be easy.”

Related judoka and events

Related Judo Photos

  • Verena Thumm (GER), Johanna Mueller (GER), Hedvig Karakas (HUN), Szaundra Diedrich (GER), Abigel Joo (HUN) - European Club Championships women Hoofddorp (2014, NED) - © Menno Lesterhuis
  • Johanna Mueller (GER), Maike Ziech (GER), Hedvig Karakas (HUN) - European Club Championships women Hoofddorp (2014, NED) - © Menno Lesterhuis
  • Hedvig Karakas (HUN) - European Club Championships women Hoofddorp (2014, NED) - © Menno Lesterhuis

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