It is not a normal kind of interview with the first Swiss world champion in a familiar sporting environment or in a hotel. The telephone connection breaks off at times, his voice sounds distant and also still a bit tired. Nils STUMP, the -73kg world champion, has flown off on holiday with his girlfriend – to the Seychelles. Now he is sitting on the hotel terrace, under a parasol. Actually, he wanted to put his mobile phone away right away. But then came the gold day in Doha.
The change from 100 per cent on the mat back to rest mode could hardly have been more brutal. From the award ceremony including the gold medal, world champion Stump flew directly to his holiday. The good news: It’s cooler in the Seychelles, if 31 degrees can be called cool. But compared to the temperatures in Doha, the climate on the holiday island is pleasant. Dream booths beckon. The not-so-good: The first Judo World Championship title for Switzerland brings unrest into Stump’s soul. The mobile phone rings, the messages trickle in every minute.
Have you already realised the World Championship title – how does it feel to have won a historic first gold medal?
Nils Stump: “The relief is already there to have actually made it, on day three, at the most important tournament of the year. And also the hope that judo will now become a bit more popular in our country. I can live from judo, that’s good. But a few new sponsors, I wouldn’t mind that.”
What made the difference from your point of view?
Stump: “I knew since the last Grand Slam successes that I can also be at the top. The self-confidence has grown with the recent successes. But at the World Championships, on your competition day, you can really only look from match to match. On Tuesday in Doha I managed to do that really well. It got easier with every victory. Especially after the quarter-final win against former world champion HASHIMOTO Soichi.”
How do you see Manuel Lombardo’s disqualification for the final now with a bit of distance?
Stump: “It took me a little while to be happy about the World Championship title. Nobody wants to win with a jury decision, they’d rather win with a score. In the meantime, the joy about my performance prevails.”
Who played a part in this World Championship title?
Stump: “A lot of people, starting with my family, all the coaches in the federation and at JC Uster. I will only get around to thanking everyone after the holidays.”
Now you know for sure that you can be an Olympic champion in Paris, too, right?
Stump: “Yes, that’s right. I have proved it. But now others also know that I can win (laughs). I will keep working hard. Paris is my most important competition!”
Author: EJU Media