19 November 2023


European Judo Championships U23 Potsdam 2023


As soon as the award ceremony was over and the last official photos had been taken, they were in each other’s arms again: German coaches, the victorious U-23 mixed team and federation officials. The most important quotes from the winners:

Sebastian SEIDL, Team Germany, U-23 men’s national coach: “It was a roller coaster of emotions. When we were 2-0 down in the first round, it didn’t look good. We had a lot of cancellations. This team is definitely not our strongest on paper. But the team with the greatest fighting spirit, the best teamwork. They never gave up and kept pulling themselves out of trouble. And they did it in front of 3,000 German fans. I am simply proud of this team. I think every one of them will now try to work even harder. It’s the kind of moment you want to experience more often. A historic day for us!”

Mario SCHENDEL, U-23 national women’s coach: “I already said it on Thursday. Even if we don’t have the top team. We absolutely want to win gold. In 2022, we lost 4-1 to the Turks in the final. That was never going to happen in the MSB Arena, we swore to ourselves. It’s simply unbelievable what happened today. We could have been knocked out in any round. The will, the internal atmosphere, the pushing each other… I’ve never experienced anything like that. Now I’m just happy and delighted for the whole team!”

European doubles singles champion and now European U-23 mixed team champion Samira BOCK: “It’s just so cool. I’ve never experienced such ups and downs as an individual athlete. My pulse was constantly racing, whether I was on the mat or cheering them on. Each and every one of us gave everything, really everything. And I’m simply proud of Kevin. The way he handled this semifinal decider, this pressure. It was brilliant. I’m now flying to my first Grand Slam in Tokyo with a total of three U-23 gold medals. I’m really looking forward to it. But this feeling from Potsdam will be hard to beat…”

Kevin ABELTSHAUSER, substitute and then precious joker: “I’ll never forget this match. At first the Azeris were laughing because they thought they’ll win this duel. I tried to simply concentrate and do better than in the previous fight. I wanted to redeem myself. My year really hasn’t gone well at all. Next year, I don’t just want to be in the mixed team, but also in the individual competition. That’s my goal.”

Author: EJU Media