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Two Golds and Three Bronze Medals at the German Athletics Championships in Braunschweig

Successful "partner university of elite sports:" Max Heß again took the championship title in the triple jump and Maria Purtsa jumped to third place, Corinna Schwab sprinted to first place in the 400 meters, and Rebekka Haase finished third in the 100 and 200 meters.

Two golds and three bronzes are what four students at Chemnitz University of Technology brought home from the German Athletics Championships on June 5 and 6, 2021 in Braunschweig. Max Heß won the gold medal in the triple jump, while his club colleague took bronze. Rebekka Haase also sprinted to third place over 100 and 200 meters, while Corinna Schwab secured gold in the 400 meters and, like Heß, defended her title from the previous year. Shot-putter Sarah Schmidt reached 6th place with her throw.

Max Heß continues to aim for the Olympic standard after his victory

Former European champion Max Heß, who studies industrial engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology, became German outdoor champion in the triple jump for the fifth time following victories in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020. At the national track and field championships, the 24-year-old from LAC Erdgas Chemnitz clearly prevailed over the national competition with 16.51 meters. However, Heß missed his personal target of jumping a distance of 17.14 meters. This would have allowed him to reach the Olympic standard. His conclusion: "It was a difficult competition, it started difficult, the jump-in took place in the pouring rain. It was a bit of a shock that the rain came all of a sudden, exactly when we started to warm up. It then dragged on a bit through the competition, also the facility is relatively new, as far as I noticed. Accordingly, it was also very soft, which cost us energy during the run-up and in the jumps themselves. Maybe that's the reason why it didn't go quite so far." Now he is looking forward to the upcoming competitions. "On June 19, I'll compete in Madrid, then hopefully at the Diamond League in Oslo if I get in, and in Hungary. Those are the next goals and then we will prepare for the Olympics - provided everything works out."

New personal best for Maria Purtsa

Even though triple jumper Maria Purtsa could not defend her title from last year in Braunschweig, she jumped over the 14-meter mark for the first time in her career and achieved a new personal best with a distance of 14.11 meters. With this she won the bronze medal. She was only beaten by favorite Neele Eckhardt-Noack (14.26 meters) and her former club colleague Kristin Gierisch (also 14.11 meters, but with a better second attempt). The 25-year-old psychology student from Chemnitz commented on her success after the competition: "I was able to improve from jump to jump. My sprint performances indicated that I am capable of jumping 14 meters. I am so happy that my coach and I finally made this mark. We're taking small steps and now there was a big one. This is an unforgettable moment: Last year the German championship title in Braunschweig and now the 14-meter mark. When my father came to Germany, the first place he was in was Braunschweig. I think that's what connects us to this city. I know that my parents supported me so incredibly. I know that there is nothing better than sharing success and I want to do that in that sense. It's so awesome in general that we can enjoy this great competition here in this pandemic time under these conditions. It's been so much fun with the girls and the German triple jump is definitely exciting."

Rebekka Haase wants to position herself well in this Olympic year

Sprinter Rebekka Haase, who studies psychology at Chemnitz University of Technology and competes for the Wetzlar sprint team, finished third in the 100 meters in 11.32 seconds, but the 28-year-old was not really satisfied with this result: "From start to finish, nothing really went right. Even the preliminary run was very tough. I don't know what the problem was. At least it was a third place in a very good competition. It's important in an Olympic year to position yourself well." On Sunday, the second day of competition, she definitely wanted to show nicer races in the 200 meters, in the final she also reached bronze in this distance. With the result of 23.24 seconds, the runner from the Erzgebirge narrowly missed the Olympic standard.

Sprinter Corinna Schwab defends her title from last year

On June 6, sprinter Corinna Schwab, who is studying for a bachelor's degree in economics in Chemnitz, competed in the women's 400-meter race in the afternoon. Her goal was to defend her title at the German Athletics Championships from the previous year. And the LAC Erdgas Chemnitz starter succeeded: she crossed the finish line in first place after 52.54 seconds. In the semi-final heat, the 22-year-old had set a new season's best of 51.93, coming close to her personal best of 51.73 seconds. After the final she said: "I had hoped for more from the time. But it was a championship race and here the title counts. I am happy that I could defend the title. The conditions were more difficult than yesterday, but I don't want to make excuses. The close competition in Germany is very demanding. You can't let up, you can't allow yourself to make a mistake, otherwise there are three girls standing by who will have faster races. I definitely still want to show what I'm made of now and will specifically pick races for that." The national team runner missed the direct qualification for the Olympic Games in Tokyo in Braunschweig, because for that she would have had to run a time of 51.35 seconds.

Shot-putter Sarah Schmidt missed a medal place

In the shot put, Sarah Schmidt, who is studying for a bachelor's degree in medical engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology and trains at LV 90 Erzgebirge, finished 6th with 17.45 meters.

Additional information: www.leichtathletik.de

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

Combining studies and sports is a challenge for many athletes at the highest level. With the initiative "Partner University of Elite Sports,” Chemnitz University of Technology in cooperation with the Olympic Training Center Chemnitz/Dresden and the General German University Sports Association (adh) offers top athletes many opportunities to be able to shape their academic and athletic careers in harmony. This includes a flexible schedule, individually coordinated submission and examination dates, and the introduction of vacation semesters as "championship semesters."

Multimedia:  The online portal leichtathletik.de features video reports on the recent successes of Corinna Schwab (German) and Max Heß.

Looking Back: 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 sports and studies, and what her plans for the future are. In episode 22 of "TUCtalk”, Rebekka Haase told us, among other things, how she balances her studies and sports, how the university's elite athlete program supports her in this, and how she envisions her life after sports. The current issue of TUCreport (pp. 27-28) features reports on students' achievements in top-level sports from 2020.

(Author: Mario Steinebach / Translation: Chelsea Burris)

Matthias Fejes
09.06.2021

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