Friday, May 19, 2023, 10:50 a.m
After last year’s European Championship, 22-year-old Szofi Özbas was able to stand on the podium at this year’s event, even though she was injured in the quarterfinals, but she fought through the pain.
The MOL Team is in the fortunate position of being able to follow the career of Sófi Özbas, the talent of the Honvéd. The juggler from Szolnok was a member of MOL’s Talent Support Program, so we had the good fortune to meet and talk with the extremely mature judoka even as a junior competitor, who has since made her mark in the adult field as well, and can even call herself an Olympian.
Özbas, who won the bronze medal at the European Championship last year, could not be pushed off the podium at this year’s World Championship either: in Doha, the juggler who reached the finals from the consolation bracket won the bronze medal with a spectacular performance. No wonder we caught up with an extremely happy and satisfied judoka.
“I didn’t put an extra burden on myself by setting numerical expectations, I just focused on being prepared and collected. Fortunately, this period was very well-rounded, from foundation to consumption to travel,
and since the biggest question for me is always whether I can beat Sófi Özbas on the tatami, the good omens already included the promise of a good performance” – said the recent World Cup bronze medalist with a broad smile.
This is especially true for Sophie: she decides in her head
“My biggest advantage, and at the same time my biggest disadvantage, is that I think a lot, so the most important factor for success is if I can be in balance with myself. Unfortunately, I’m an anxious type, I’m easily triggered by an unfortunate circumstance, so I had to learn to live in the moment. Fortunately, this also worked out well now.”
At the World Championships in Doha, Sofi was strong in the first round, and in order to reach the round of 16, she quickly threw an ippoint on her Spanish opponent, then eliminated a Venezuelan competitor with a takedown, and already reached the top eight. However, not only did he lose there, but his consolation appearance was also in jeopardy.
“I’ve known Joanne van Lieshout for a long time, I knew she was very strong in ground combat, so I tried to stay standing as long as possible. Unfortunately, he was able to pull my hand out, and although I’m not the type to quickly knock down an arm stretch like that, it was time to give up the fight.”
However, the judge positioned himself in such a way that he didn’t see it, and the Dutch girl stretched my arm for another 4-5 seconds. In the end, I knocked him down with my foot, but by then my arm was really hurting” – the young classic of the Honvéd recalled the quarter-final.
“I had very little time to gather myself for consolation, ten minutes later I had to stand on the tatami again. I knew I had to push through the pain and pull myself together, so I took a placebo-type painkiller, cried a little, and by the time I got on the mat, it felt like the pain was gone. I regained control,” proudly said Sófi, who defeated her Kosovar opponent with ippon and made it to the final block, i.e. the medal battles.
The bronze match then brought dramatic moments, a huge struggle and finally a funny scene, but most importantly, it ended with the Hungarian bronze medal, as Szofi defeated Lubjana Piovesana in overtime.
Photo: Sófi Özbas/Instagram
“I was so focused on the match that when I made an action worth Wazari, I wasn’t even aware that we were already in overtime, so any action worth a point means my victory.”
It suddenly dawned on me what I’m celebrating here, when the fight isn’t over yet, so I threw myself at the Austrian girl again.” – Sofi recalled the bronze match.
For now, Paris is only good for pressure
The Honvéd judoka made her debut at the Olympics as a teenager, and although she finished third in the 2022 European Championship with a World Cup bronze medal in 2023, she did not want to continue the process until the most important event in 2024, the Paris Olympics.
“I don’t analyze, I don’t analyze in detail either my own style or that of my opponents, and especially I don’t measure my own performance against anyone, because that’s not my way.”
Of course, my big dream is the Paris Olympics, but if I subordinate everything to this goal and evaluate everything from this point of view, I will only achieve that by squeezing myself.”
“I didn’t have a goal for the World Championship either, I just divided my preparation into moments and always concentrated on the task in front of me. I will do the same in the next period. I consider myself a good competitor, I can achieve good results, but only if I can go my own way,” explained Szofi.
Source: molcsapat.hu by molcsapat.hu.
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