Two fights in January in Tel Aviv, five in February in Düsseldorf and another in November in Prague – 2020 had just eight judo fights in store for Giovanna Scoccimarro. There have already been individual months when she made more fights than in the entire Corona year 2020. And yet these eight comparisons already covered the whole range of emotions. It was twelve months with perhaps the greatest sporting success, full of hope and disappointment and one of the most painful defeats at the end of the European Championships in Prague. And so the 23-year-old says with a view to 2021: “I hope that everything will go better than this year.”
When Scoccimarro traveled to Israel for the Grand Prix in January, Corona was still a long way off. In Europe, of course, Covid-19 has already been discussed, but not everyone had a global outbreak in mind. Tel Aviv was an initial assessment at the start of this very important year, the highlight of which was the Olympic Games in summer. The duel for the one national ticket for Tokyo, which the U21 world champion from 2017 delivered with Miriam Butkereit, began with a small damper for the MTV ace. Butkereit made up ground on the Scoccimarro, who was hurrying in advance, she reached the consolation round final, while her competitor failed in the round of 16.
Showdown in Düsseldorf: Bronze in the home Grand Slam
The German Judo Association called the home Grand Slam in Düsseldorf for a big Olympic showdown. Also in the class up to 70 kilograms it was about nothing less than the nomination for the Olympics. And Scoccimarro delivered: She reached third place and bronze in the top-ranked tournament after a victory in the consolation round final against the South Korean Kim Seongyeon, while the tournament for Butkereit was already over after the first fight. Shortly afterwards the confirmation came in black and white, the association nominated the fighter from Ehra-Lessien in the Gifhorn district. “Düsseldorf and the nomination was my personal highlight,” she says today.
But Corona was getting closer and closer, when the lockdown was decided in Germany, the 23-year-old was just in the training camp on Tenerife, Covid-19 already ensured that the return flight had to be postponed. But Scoccimarro still hoped that her Olympic dream would come true in the summer. In vain. The games have been postponed by around a year and are now scheduled to take place from July 23 to August 8, 2021. “The postponement,” she says, “is still better than a complete cancellation.”
The Vorfeldin continued to work hard on herself, at the base in Hanover she has good conditions, she also went to training camps in Kienbaum. “I was able to work a lot on my techniques and actually improved a lot,” says Scoccimarro. Even if eight fights this year are not that many, the tension has seldom subsided. Again and again there were concentrated preparations and training camps, only to be rejected for the next tournament.
New start after the forced Corona break: European Championships in Prague
Because the competition was idle for a long time. It was not until autumn that a new start emerged here, right with the European Championships, which were held in the Czech capital under strict hygiene and safety regulations. No other tournaments were planned for the top German judoka for the rest of the year. This escalation to the EM and the special Corona-related circumstances, they paralyzed the figurehead in the limit of 70 kg. “I was really excited beforehand. Maybe the last time it was at the U17 European Championship. ”That was in 2012, she took part in Montenegro as a 14-year-old, was eliminated in the round of 16, just like in Prague, when she lost to Russian Madina Taimazova in the golden score. “When I watch the fight, I have a huge question mark on my face, I didn’t know what to do. That was very disappointing. “
Disappointing because it did not meet our own standards. And disappointing because after her nomination for the Olympics, she “wants to show that I am the one who was deservedly nominated.” But the corona pandemic also had a personal impact on the top athlete. “I have this athlete gene in me: the main thing is that I train and I fight.” Even a cold didn’t stop her from coming to training for a long time. “Now I’ve noticed once again how important it is to show consideration for everyone else,” she says.
The year has by no means ended idly for them. The MTV ace is currently preparing for its first competition in 2021. From January 11th to 13th, the Doha Masters will take place in Qatar, where Scoccimarro will meet numerous fighters from the world’s best, only the Japanese athletes are not registered. From January 4th to 8th it’s back to Kienbaum, from Berlin directly to Qatar. “I continued training and will try to get 100 percent there,” says Scoccimaro. Even in the distant Doha, more than one fight is to be added. And many more are to follow in 2021, far more than the eight in this difficult Corona year with its early high and the long low from March.