18 November 2023


European Judo Championships U23 Potsdam 2023


She is probably the most promising German judoka of the moment. A member of the so-called perspective squad. Since Saturday, she has two U-23 European Championship gold medals on her sporting CV. Next week she flies to Tokyo for her first Grand Slam tournament.

The coaches were talking about a medal bank and a definite gold medal. Only defending champion Samira BOCK (-70) didn’t want to be seen as the favourite: “I injured my left ankle and wasn’t able to train as planned. So I didn’t think much about my second gold medal. Not even before the final.”
The 20-year-old from Munich is anything but “average”. “I have an extreme (right) reach, I’m tall, have long legs and a good Ne waza. So I’m definitely not an opponent that’s easy to adjust to.”
Her career choice is also atypical – instead of joining the police or army sports squad, she has opted for part-time study: “I have enrolled in the Faculty of Psychology.” The double under-23 European champion shrugs her shoulders when asked whether she also draws mental strength from her interest in the humanities. “I haven’t been studying that long… But what certainly helps me is the fact, that I really look forward to every tournament, no matter how important or unimportant, and enjoy the atmosphere. Of course I’m also nervous before the fights, but I really enjoy Judo. I hope, that I never lose that feeling.”
Her childhood friend Philine introduced her to judo at the age of six, and she is still her main point of contact when it comes to private conversations about judo. “She’s usually the first to congratulate me and still follows all my fights. Just like a best friend is supposed to…”
Despite the ankle injury, the 20-year-old is not taking a break. On the contrary. Samira Bock is flying to Tokyo next week to celebrate her Grand Slam debut in Japan. “I already trained in Japan last year, but I’ve never fought there before. Until now, the Grand Prix in Zagreb was my biggest tournament. Back then, at my first World Tour tournament, I finished seventh. Maybe I can do the same in Tokyo. Even though that’s probably an ambitious goal…”
But the German home European U-23 Championships are not over yet. The mixed team competition on Sunday is the most prestigious day of competition for the hosts. A medal for “Team Germany” is inevitable. “Ideally we win the gold medal this time. Last year we lost the final against Turkey – we don’t want that to happen again in Potsdam,” says DJB Managing Director Frank Dötsch. “I think we have a very good chance. Our team has what it takes to win the title,” says Samira Bock, before adding with a wink: “I wouldn’t mind a third gold medal.”

Author: EJU Media