15 February 2024


European Judo Championships Seniors Zagreb 2024


The EJU Prime Event of the year is approaching. There are still 70 days or 10 weeks to go until the European Judo Championships Seniors in ZAGREB (25th – 28th April). A six-person EJU team will be making a site visit next Monday. “Of course I’d like to compete in Zagreb in April, but it’s not yet possible to say for sure whether it will work out. The date is fixed in the calendar,” says Nils Stump, who was the first Swiss judoka to be crowned world champion in Doha in 2023.

The plan is to be back in action at competitions from the end of March, but in the Olympic year, caution is of course advised. That’s why we’ll decide on any appearances at very short notice. Of course, I would love to participate at the European Championships in Zagreb and the World Championships (in Abu Dhabi) in May.

At the last European Championships, on 4 November in Montpellier, Nils Stump tore a ligament in his left shoulder joint in his opening fight against Michail TSOUTLASVILI (GRE) and had to undergo surgery. The 26-year-old has been back on the mat since January.

How much did the shoulder injury set you back in your Olympic preparations?

I was naturally shocked in Montpellier, even in the first few days after the operation, even more so because the pain was greater than during my first operation after Tokyo (on my right shoulder). But the operation went well and the rehab went really well. I’m almost back to my old self. The only thing I still have to hold back on is randori training. But otherwise I feel great. The shoulder injury is no longer a factor for the Olympic Games in Paris. I’ll definitely be back to 100 per cent.

What has changed for you since your world championship title?

I’m contacted more often by companies and the media, I’m more recognised in Switzerland. I stand out more on the mat with my red world champion number. My friends and training mates have hung up my Doha world champion back number in our club. They really celebrated it. But not much has changed for me in sporting terms, apart from the fact that my self-confidence has naturally grown. That will certainly help me for upcoming major events. It took me five world championships to finally achieve success. At the Olympic Games it has to go faster (laughs). I’ll probably be there in Los Angeles after Paris. But that will be it. Tokyo was my biggest disappointment so far. The opening defeat kept me busy for three months, even though I couldn’t really blame myself.

What are your goals for your second Olympic participation?

The goal is always the same: I want to win – a podium finish is the goal. That goes for the European Championships in Zagreb, if it works out, and for the Olympic Games in Paris!

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Author: Wolfgang Eichler