8 January 2024


Mittersill EJU OTC 2024


A question of honour: The first training session of the week-long Olympic Training Camp in Mittersill was led by Judo Austria head coach Yvonne SNIR-BÖNISCH. A total of 29 training sessions await 902 judoka from 55 nations this week. And the 30th anniversary of the organisation will also be celebrated. With the EJU Media Team the former Olympic champion talks about…

… the most popular judo training camp in the world: “The reputation of being number one among all training camps is no coincidence. The number of participants is constantly between 900 and 1,100, and most of the top stars have long been regular guests, both coaches and athletes. This year, a total of 22 Olympic champions are in Mittersill, including 6 coaches.”

… the special Mittersill flair: “Look around: everyone is in a good mood and smiling, even during training. It’s probably because everyone has a few days off at Christmas and can switch off. The athletes have had time to heal their aches and pains and injuries. And the atmosphere is incredibly informal, almost like a school trip. I caught the Mittersill fever umpteen years ago. Without OTC Mittersill, I would be missing something at the start of the year. I think that applies to the entire judo family.”

… Japan’s Olympic champion Takanori Nagase: “It’s no surprise to me that he’s making the long journey to Mittersill. He is often in Europe to get used to the European style of fighting. He wants to feel the European way of fighting, you can’t simulate that in Tokyo.”

… European chances for the Olympic home match in Paris: “Anyone who has ever experienced the Grand Slam in Paris-Bercy will know. The French are a force to be reckoned in front of their home crowd. That certainly applies to the Olympics too – so why shouldn’t they be able to beat Japan in the mixed team competition? They did it in Tokyo in 2021 and I think they can do it again in August. In general, I would say that we will have more European Olympic champions this time than at the Games in Tokyo 2021 and Rio 2016.”

… the form of the Judo Austria team: “The fitness training camp in Lanzarote has done everyone good. I think we’re ready for the Paris countdown. And there’s a good chance that we might even qualify with the mixed team. That would be a sensation for a small country like Austria. But Mittersill heralds the start of the Olympic preparations. It’s still too early to make any concrete predictions for Paris.”

Author: EJU Media