Haecker primed for Olympics

Katharina Haecker. (Supplied)

Tara Murray

Kingsville’s Katharina Haecker is hoping to break through for a medal at the Olympics Games.

Haecker equals the most Olympic judo appearances by an Australian woman at her third Games after being named in Australia’s three person team.

She will compete in the 63 kilogram division.

Haecker enters the Games in good form having won Grand Prix silver and bronze this year.

Haecker said it feels amazing to be officially selected to her third Olympic team. She made the round of 16 at both the Rio and Tokyo Games and is hoping to go even further this time round.

“This time I feel very prepared,” she said. “I’ve had some amazing results over the qualifying period, and I am feeling ready to step it up in Paris.

“A lot of hard work goes into competing in judo.

“The sports require a lot of commitment, discipline and just trusting the process. When I step out in Paris, I want to give my best, do myself justice and get that medal.”

Haecker was born in Germany to an Australian father and a German mother.

She was introduced to the sport of judo in Hamburg when she was six and throughout her youth won a number of junior titles.

Haecker said she had been at the sport for a long time.

“My mum got me into the sport,” she said. “More to do, any kind of sport and I fell in love with Judo.

“[I] just loved it straight away and I just stuck with it.”

She moved to Australia after high school for a year and gave the sport a break before moving home and returning to the sport.

She began fighting for Australia and got selected to represent the green and gold at the 2014 Oceania Championships, which she went on to win.

She has since represented Australia on a number of occasions since, including winning bronze at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

In her Olympic bio, it says that Haecker believes she was not born naturally talented at judo, but it is her love for the sport that has gotten her so far.

“[It] takes a lot of hard work,” she said. “So much… A lot of commitment.

“I would say commitment is the most important thing. Discipline [and] trust the process and just stick to it.”