By the time Yvonne Finish was born, Sabrina Filsmoser was already six months old. The latter, to a certain extent the Austrian judoka, is now a role model for Olympic medalists Michel Polleres and Shamil Porchashvili, who ended his interesting career a few days ago, while the other has been working as a coach for almost a decade – and the activity has now reached a new career high . The German near Potsdam has only been the national coach in Austria since January. Since then, EM Bronze from Bernadette Graff, WM Bronze from Polleres, and now Olympic silver and bronze from Portugal have been on credit.

If you ask the Austrian judo fighters at the camp, most of the victory belongs to the 39-year-old. On the one hand, Benich understands the sport of judo as an Olympic champion in Athens and a two-time silver medalist at the World and European Championships – making it the most successful German judoka in history – just like the others. The trained sports manager, on the other hand, is characterized by her empathy.

So, she knows how to find the right relationship for women and men, even with different characters. Some people want to get to know the draw right away, others only on the day of the match (Benish itself is first class), some need the right motivation – like Polleres – with others you have to be a little bit slower – like the Portuguese. The 26-year-old also stressed the importance of the finish after he won the bronze medal: “Shamil, you don’t get this opportunity often in life. Go out with me and enjoy it,” he told me. .

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Inattention and empathy - that's national coach Yvonne Benish.  - © Aba / George Hochmud
Meticulousness and empathy – that’s what national coach Yvonne Benich does. – © Aba / George Hochmud

“With Yvonne’s remorseful new leadership, he has turned down everything he could have imagined before,” Filsmoser, a longtime rival and friend of the national coach, told the Austrian press. Because in some places there were more or less doubts as to whether all men would accept leadership by a woman. This is because having a female head coach for both sexes is unique globally – and widely recognized internationally.

Always gone our own way

Benish himself did not care about that. He simply went his own way: first as a coach at his home club in Potsdam, then as a base coach, “then it grew like that,” he says. This path led her first to the (women) national team in Israel, from where the local association separated them at the beginning of the year. Separating from the Israelis was not easy for her, but she did not hesitate. “You don’t get a challenge like this often.”

Benich is always used to challenges. Memories of Athens still linger when he was inspired for the Olympic champion to dominate his first fight. “That’s what I don’t want to get.” But Benish prepared with his own attention – eventually becoming the first German to win Olympic gold in judo. She is true to Boeing’s policies: She boycotted the 2008 Beijing Olympics in protest of China’s policy on Tibet.

On the other hand, she realized that she had long been associated with the game of judo in Austria. “Whether I was in Germany or Israel, I always had an eye on what was going on in Austria,” he told the Austrian press before the Olympics. There is a lot going on right now. That’s not the least thanks to Yvonne Finish.

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