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Judo: Lennart Sass is proud of how far he came

Date: February 16, 2024

Category: Judo

All set at the SNP Dome for the 2023 IBSA Judo Grand Prix Heidelberg!

214 athletes from 47 countries will start the first of the three last tournaments that will complete the Road to Paris 2024, started in September 2022, with the European Championships in Cagliari, Italy.

For the next two days, Heidelberg will be the world capital of parajudo, where the points earned can make the difference for the last version of the Paralympic Ranking List (PRL).

Fighting for the qualification is the hometown judoka, Lennart Sass, 24, from Kiel but currently living in Heidelberg, 3rd in the PRL in the category -73kg.

“This international competition in the centre of my hometown means that all my supporters can be there, pushing for us. We also have our familiar surroundings here to prepare. It is like training: just pack your bag and compete without the hassle of travelling abroad. At the same time, I am looking forward to welcoming the international athletes and introducing them to our everyday lives on site. It is also exciting to see the organisation around it. There is simply a motivating and cool spirit!” said Lennart, who started his international career exactly two years ago, at IDEM 2022. “Since then, I have steadily increased my performance and experience. I am proud of how far I have come and motivated to keep getting better every day! I will be ready for Paris!” he added.

One of his strongest opponents is the young Romanian star, Alex Bologa (1st in the PRL). Playing at home, can this time be different to Lennart, who started last year with a victory at the 2023 IBSA Judo Grand Prix Almada in Portugal?

“I strive for the best result in every competition. Every medal, especially gold, proves that I can prove my spot at the top of the world. I am a humble fighter. I have studied the strengths and weaknesses of my opponents. Especially the experienced ones, like Alex, whom I follow closely. Nevertheless, it is crucial to stick to my fighting style and trust in my strengths”.

#Accessibility – Lennart Sass, first on the left, is on the podium of the World Championships that took place in Baku, Azerbaijan, holding his silver medal in the neck and some flowers on his right hand, next to the new world champion, the Kazakh Yergali Shamey, with his gold medal on the neck and his right hand on his chest, singing the national antheem.

Lennart Sass played his first World Championship at the last edition (2022) in Baku, Azerbaijan. He got the silver medal, defeated in the final by Kazakh Yergali Shamey (2nd in the PRL).

“To be runner-up in my debut was incredible! Even though I started judo back in 2005, that was my best result so far”.

The event at the SNP Dome in Heidelberg will start this Saturday at 9.30 am (CET and local time) with the opening ceremony. At 10 am, the preliminaries and repechage fights of the following classes and categories will take place: J1 -48kg, J2 -48kg, J2 -57kg, all women; and J1 -60 kg, J1 -73kg, J2 -60kg, J2 -73kg, all men. In the afternoon, at 4.30 pm, will start the final block and medal ceremonies.

On Sunday, Day 2 of the competition, the schedule remains the same, but for the following classes and categories: J1 -57kg, J1 -70kg, J1 +70kg, J2 -70kg, J2 +70kg, all women; and J1 -90kg, J1 +90kg, J2 -90kg, J2 +90kg.

As usual, the live streaming can be followed on the IBSA YouTube channel or through our website. Stay tuned!

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