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3x Gold and a Silver at the German Athletic Championship in Braunschweig

Successful "partner university of top-class sport": Max Hess and Maria Purtsa won the championship title in triple jump, Corinna Schwab sprinted her personal best 400 metres on the way to 1st place and Rebekka Haase sprinted over 100 metres to 2nd place

Three times gold and a silver is the balance that three students from Chemnitz University of Technology racked up at the German Athletic Championship on8 August 2020 in Braunschweig. Max Hess and Maria Purtsa won the gold medal in the triple jump. The sprinter Corinna Schwab took first place over 400 meters, while Rebekka Haase took silver over 100 meters. The shot-putter Sarah Schmidt reached 4th place with her throwing distance.

Max Hess aims for the Olympic standard after his victory

The former European champion Max Hess, who is studying industrial engineering and management at  Chemnitz University of Technology, became German open-air champion in the triple jump for the fourth time, adding to his victories in 2016, 2017, and 2019. The 24-year-old from LAC Erdgas Chemnitz won the national athletics title with 16.58 metres. However, Heß was not completely satisfied with his performance: "The competition was a bit mixed. I had a hard time getting in and had to get used to the runway. That was quite a change. In the end it got better. If the last attempt had been valid, it would have been a distance of maybe 17 metres. The training was painless again the last months and I could prepare myself optimally. I will finish the season in September. There are probably still three competitions left for me. I would like to jump the Olympic standard of 17.14 meters. That would give me a good feeling. The preparation for next season will probably take place soon after a break.”

First German championship title for Maria Purtsa

Triple jumper Maria Purtsa was very satisfied with her gold medal in the triple jump. The psychology student from Chemnitz, who trains at LAC Erdgas Chemnitz and jumped 13.65 metres on Saturday, said after the competition: "It is really incredible, it is my first German championship title. For me, Corona meant seven weeks of training on the dirt track. During that time I made good arrangements with my coach. I am immensely happy about the title. In our training group with Kristin Gierisch and Max Hess we have a lot of fun jumping and can give each other good feedback. Everybody benefits from the strengths of the other. I am so grateful to be in this group and to be in Chemnitz. This is great. My mum comes from Bulgaria, my dad from Greece and I study in Chemnitz. I knew that today something would work and I said to myself: 'Just trust in yourself. Believe in yourself and let success catch up with you. And that's what happened. I hope, however, that this distance wasn't the last word."

Corinna Schwab runs to gold with a new personal best

On August 9, sprinter Corinna Schwab, who is studying for a bachelor’s degree in economics in Chemnitz, started in the afternoon in the women's 400-meter final and secured the gold medal. With an outstanding winning time, the 21-year-old won her first title at the German Athletic Championship. The student, who competes for LG Telis Finanz and trains at the Olympic base in Chemnitz, not only set a new personal best time of 51.72 seconds. Since 2001, no other athlete had run faster than her at the German Athletic Championship. Currently, Schwab ranks fourth in the European annual best time list with this running result. About her top result she said: "I definitely wanted to attack my best time. My main goal was to win, but this time is the icing on the cake for me. I am really happy about that. This is a good improvement. I was able to follow my coach's instructions during the run and to set a good pace for the second half of the race. We have found a good model for my race design.”

Rebekka Haase ties old achievements

The sprinter Rebekka Haase, who studies psychology at Chemnitz University of Technology and competes for the Sprint Team Wetzlar, was also happy about her sporting success. In the 100 metre race, she reached 2nd place with a time of 11.34 seconds, about which she said: "I am happy about silver. To come back to second place after many problems and a long lasting injury is already cool. If someone had told me in January that I would be runner-up in the 100 metres, I would have said, "I'll take it right away.” So I'm happy with that for now. The run was okay, a nice race is something else again. I can't yet train one hundred percent stable, so we run as many races as possible. So I can get the routine back. It goes step by step in the right direction. I'm still running the 200 meters, I just want to show some more nice races. This year I don't really know where I stand on the track yet.” She finished fourth in the 200 meter final on August 9th.

Shot putter Sarah Schmidt missed bronze

In shot put, Sarah Schmidt, who is studying for a bachelor’s degree in medical engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology and trains with LV 90 Erzgebirge, achieved 4th place with 16.27 meters.
Almost 500 participants started this weekend at the title fights in Braunschweig, which took place without an audience and with a strict hygiene concept. Further information: www.leichtathletik.de.

Background: Chemnitz University of Technology is "Partner University of Elite Sports”

Combining study and sport is a challenge for many athletes at the highest level. With the initiative "Partner University of Elite Sports," (https://www.tu-chemnitz.de/usz/partnerhochschulen.php.en ) Chemnitz University of Technology, in cooperation with the Olympic Training Centre Chemnitz/Dresden and the General German University Sports Association (adh), offers top athletes many opportunities to harmonize their academic and sports careers. For example, a flexible structure of the timetable, individually coordinated submission and examination dates and the introduction of vacation semesters as "championship semesters."

Multimedia: MDR, NDR and the online portal leichtathletik.de reported on the success of Maria Purtsa (german report), Max Hess (german article  and Corinna Schwab (germana rticle) at the German Athletic Championship in Braunschweig.

Retrospectives: In episode 32 of "TUCtalk" student and competitive athlete Maria Purtsa talks about what fascinates her about the triple jump, why the university is ideal for combining sport and study, and what plans she has. And in episode 22 of "TUCtalk" Rebekka Haase told, among other things, how she manages to combine studies and sport, how the university's top athlete program supports her in this, and how she envisages her life after sport.

(Author: Mario Steinebach / Translation: Chelsea Burris)

Matthias Fejes
12.08.2020

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