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Still three K ä fights

Sven Maresch, 30, takes leave of Abensberg and his sport-at the end of the championship.

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Still three K ä fights

At some point, judoka Sven Maresch n talks about Japanese tradition, about respect for opponent and self-responsibility on mat. Judo, that's a school for life, he says. A sport that shapes character and personality. Yes, a socially important thing: "very valuable".

Thus speaks one who soon takes leave of this sensual and intense sport. And he also leaves his electoral association, TSV Abensberg, for whom he has fought for almost a decade and who has dominated judo in Germany, like no or club. 30 years-that's enough for an athlete's life. "There are so many or things to discover," says Maresch.

"We're not favorite this time," says coach Öchsner

He has just begun his studies: European media Studies. Art, design and philosophy are part of interdisciplinary study programme in Potsdam. He is delighted at time, which is not to be overheard: "To educate me, to meet new people". You can quickly see that re is someone here who has not always had an easy time in monotonous everyday life of professional sports. And n Maresch says this sentence, which somehow sums up his career perfectly: "There is not only sport."

Neverless: three fights in Bundesliga will still contest Sven Maresch for his second home Abensberg in Lower Bavaria. The last Heimkampf rises on Saturday (6pm), when he leads Abensberger as captain to playoff quarter-final against KSC Asahi Spremberg. "A special moment," he says. The sporty roles are clearly distributed: The battle in Spreewald has won Abensberg 11:3-and rematch against climber is expected to be similar. The two teams separate a class difference. Abensberg will move into final of best four and fight again for German championship. This time re is even a serious competitor for club, who brought 13 times in series quasi uncontested title (between 2002 and 2014). Hamburg now has a squad, which, like that of Abensberg, is equipped with German and international world-class men in all weight classes. And while in Abensberg some people, like Maresch, are running out of ir careers, hamburgers are almost all in best Judoalter. "We are not favorite this time," says coach Jürgen Öchsner. And yet in Abensberg anything but championship would be a disappointment.

Here, where everyone knows and greets everyone. Here is where team meets on Friday evening for joint training and eating. Here, where athletes are still staying in team-owned team hotel of ex-chef Otto Kneitinger. And here, "where real judo friendships exist", as Maresch portrays. It is a special judo biotope in Abensberg.

The city has become known through sport to Georgia and beyond. The Georgian World Champions Zebeda Rekhviashvili (-81 kg) and Beka Gviniashvili (-90 kg) are also on start on Saturday and as well integrated into team as a Manuel Washerl (-66 kg) who grew up here, or Berliner Maresch (-81 kg). By beginning of year Sven Maresch trained at Olympic base in state capital. He feels Abensberg but at least equally connected, Bavarian culture has gradually become acquainted.

Of course, club has also helped him financially, stakes in Bundesliga are well paid. He was travelling through his sport in more than 40 countries: from Japan to Mongolia to Brazil. The climax was Olympic Games 2016 in Rio. Maresch made a difference in first round. A visit to favelas left a lot more impression on him. "These are unimaginable living conditions," he says, "and yet people laugh re."

"Unworthy" had been his kicking from national team

Types like Maresch, who think outside bladder during ir athletic career, are rare and usually do not create " big throw" as he himself noted. The triumph at Junior European Championship 2006 remained his greatest victory. 2017 he flew from national team due to age, " way was unworthy," he says. He received a short letter, no more. Something like that would be unimaginable in Abensberg. Maresch sees himself as a loyal team player, and accordingly he has enjoyed team competitions more and more, he says: "To fight toger, to celebrate toger". The Bundesliga with Abensberg is now perfect conclusion: "And n a new life begins."


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