Sprint victory despite "Schluffi": First German medal at the Para World Cup: "Aunt Irmie" wins

After her gold run over 200 meters Irmgard Bensusan was again a little bit the "clumsy girl". The 28-year-old likes to call herself a "clumsy girl".

"Actually, I'm very purposeful, but I always have such moments," she says laughing and with the flag of Germany around her shoulders. In the Dubai goal, the world record holder was unaware that she had just won the title and thus the first German medal at the Para World Championships for Athletes in Dubai.

"Apparently I'm too used to winning silver," says Bensusan, who had previously won first and eleventh place at the World and European Championships and Paralympics three times. And laugh again.

You can tell that Irmgard Bensuan has arrived. After a very difficult years. The sprint is her passion. At three, she is on the tartan track in her native Pretoria. She becomes South African champion in the hurdle sprint. At 18 she is stuck at the national championships at a hurdle. "I looked at my leg and could only scream," she says. The diagnosis is "drop foot", a nerve damage. The right leg is partially paralyzed.

Bensusan wants to continue, but in South Africa she is not classified for para-sport. Her mother, born in Hanover, makes contacts in Leverkusen. There it is classified – by the same examiner. Without speaking a word of German, she moves there. In the meantime, "Aunt Irmie" speaks the language, works for an accountant and is integrated and popular in the team.

"Aunt Irmie," she calls herself. "In South Africa, you're called an aunt or uncle when you're about ten years older," she says. "I always think of the young athlete. And at some point it became my name. "With which she can live. "Aunt is great. She would buy an alcohol, but also grumble. "

At home visits she is often admonished by the others as "too German". "A few German characteristics are well inherited," she says. "Other things have been added. My heart beats for both countries. I think I have the best of both. "

The question remains whether their paralyzed foot is a plus or a minus. Some competitors eye them critically. "But she clearly has a disadvantage", clarifies the German team manager Jörg Frischmann. "The others have carbon springs. The energy that comes in will come out again. The tool that Irmie has is just that the foot is stable and does not roll over. "That's how Bensusan himself looks." The others only ever see that I have two legs, "she says." But me have a leg without muscles. It just hangs there. I would fall over without a rail. »

By the way, because the leg hangs there, she calls it "Schluffi", the healthy one simply means "left" or "Stabi". "That makes it easier in training," she says: "If I do something wrong with my right leg, the coach just shouts: 'Pull up Schluffi'. And if something does not work, it was Schluffi's fault. "

But even with "Schluffi" and a certain clumsiness "Aunt Irmie" brought gold in Dubai.

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