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German showdown for the Olympics

The Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist and her challenger Böhm are ranked third and fourth in the world – only one of them can compete in Paris

For former judo world champion Anna-Maria Wagner and European champion Alina Böhm, the showdown for the Olympic ticket begins next week at the European Championships in Zagreb. Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Wagner (Ravensburg) and her challenger Böhm (Heubach) are ranked third and fourth in the world qualifying rankings for the 78 kg category – only one of them will be allowed to compete in Paris.

“I feel fit, I’ve improved and I’ve got the feeling that I’m approaching my peak. I hope that I can call on that,” said Böhm, for whom it would be her Olympic debut, on the occasion of the German squad announcement for Zagreb on Wednesday. The Olympic race will be decided there and at the following World Championships in Abu Dhabi (May 19-24).

Because apart from heavyweight Renee Lucht (Hamburg) hardly any DJB judoka can plan for Paris with certainty, practically the entire best line-up will be at the start in Zagreb. Eduard Trippel (Rüsselsheim/90 kg), who landed a coup with silver at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, still needs two very good results at the European and World Championships. Trippel would not currently qualify for Paris via the Olympic ranking.

At the previous European Championships in November 2023, Alina Böhm successfully defended her title in Montpellier and won the only gold for the DJB. “It’s time to defend the title again. My goal hasn’t changed, I’d like to win the triple,” she said.

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