The International University Sports Federation (FISU) Summer World University Games are held every two years. Student athletes from all over the world came together in Chengdu, China this year. Raffaela Igl was also there. She is studying industrial engineering for a bachelor’s degree at the HM and competed in judo for Germany. And with success: she won bronze in the individual competition and a silver medal in the team competition.
HM: What was it like participating in the World University Games?
Igl: It was my first time at the World University Games. The whole event was huge, from the Athletes’ Village to the Opening Ceremony and the Awards. This is very different from other competitions that are all about judo. In China, it was about so much more, namely the feeling of “small Olympic Games”. And about the exchange with the Chinese, but also with other athletes from different sports and countries.
HM: Why actually judo?
Igl: I started judo when I was 6 years old. My father and my brother are in judo – that’s how I got into it. This martial art is super versatile. There’s nothing you don’t have to or don’t need to train for. Anyone, no matter what their strengths, can be good at judo because of this.
HM: After bronze and silver at the World University Games 2023, what are your next sporting goals?
Igl: In September I will fight in two European Open competitions and in November I will probably compete in the U23 European Championship. The real Olympic Games is a dream of mine, but taking part in it is anything but easy. Until then I don’t want to lose the fun and compete in many “smaller” competitions and collect medals.
The interview was conducted by Constance Schölch
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