Three athletes from Bielefeld University competed at this year's Judo DHM in Constance. For Josefine Koch (-57kg), it was the first competition after her back injury in summer 2023, but unfortunately she had to admit defeat early in the tough competition in a higher weight class.
Katrin Bocker (also -57kg), on the other hand, was able to fight her way through to the semi-finals. Here, however, she was stopped by the eventual university runner-up. In the fight for third place, she was also unable to defend her initial lead until the end and ended up in 5th place.
Freya Friedrich (-63kg) started as a newcomer in her first major competition. Despite her best efforts, she was eliminated in her first fight. However, she was then able to support the Bonn University team at the Newcomer Cup, with which she achieved a great 3rd place.
On 07.10. and 08.10.2023, the first edition of the NRW University Judo Championships took place at the Federal Training Centre in Cologne. In addition to the individual competition, there was also the opportunity to compete in a Newcomer Cup and a team competition. In a colourful field of participants, some athletes with national league experience and others who took up judo during the course of their studies came together. Timo Günther (individual, -81 kg) and Freya Friedrich (newcomer, -63 kg) competed for Bielefeld University.
On the first day, Timo Günther faced 10 other athletes in his weight class. An athlete from the German Sport University awaited him in his opening match. Timo was focussed and concentrated. In an evenly balanced fight, Timo capitalised on a mistake by his opponent after just under 3 minutes of fighting, pinning him with a hold and winning the fight. In the subsequent semi-final, Timo had to compete against an athlete from the University of Münster. After just under a minute, Timo was able to throw him with a large outside sickle (O-Soto-Gari), lock him again and win the fight. In the subsequent final, Timo once again faced an athlete from the German Sport University Cologne. Timo scored with a shoulder throw (Seoi-Nage) in his very first action, which was again successfully rounded off with a hold. Timo thus won the first gold medal for Bielefeld University at the first edition of the NRW University Championships.
Freya Friedrich competed for Bielefeld University in the women's Newcomer Cup and finished in 2nd place. Ruby Friedrich (her twin sister) took first place for Bonn University. Charlotte Becker and Alina Rupp from RWTH shared third place. Overall, the fights were very exciting and evenly matched, some of which lasted a very long time.
The NRW University Judo Championships were not only an exciting sporting event, but also an opportunity for students from different universities to compete in a fair and respectful manner. The tournament not only promoted sporting competition, but also intercultural exchange and community among the students. On 21 and 22 October, the DHM in judo will continue in Konstanz, where some athletes from Bielefeld University will once again be competing.