EUSA Insider: Robin Rettenbacher

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Age: 23
Place of Birth: Hallein, Austria
University: University of Salzburg (AUT)
Sport: Karate

How and why did you get involved in Karate?
I first started practicing Karate with my twin brother Luca when I was 5 years old. We both chose this sport because of our older brother, who was a Karate fighter himself. I still love it, because every training is different and still excites me.

What do you study, and how do you balance your study, training and competition?
I study Economics and Law at the Paris Lodron University in Salzburg. During my competition phase I am able to be absent more times than normally allowed at required courses – that way I can balance studying and training much better.

Tell us about your experiences at the European Universities Championships 2019. Was it your first time at a EUSA event, and what did you enjoy the most?
The 2019 EUSA Combat Sports event was the first EUSA event in which I have participated. My family and a few friends came all the way to Croatia to support me, which highly raised my confidence on the competition day. I also enjoyed that I was able to support other Austrian athletes, who competed not only in Karate, but also in different sports.

„Never give up, especially when there are difficult times, in either training, studying or competing at tournaments.“

Why do you think taking part in university sport is important?
University sport is very helpful to establish contacts with other students around the world. University Championships also give perfect conditions to fight against top level athletes and to prepare for upcoming events.

Next year the European Universities Games are taking place in Belgrade, Serbia. Are you hoping to be there, and if so, what do you hope to achieve?
It would be a pleasure for me to fight again at the next European Universities Games in Belgrade. I will constantly work at my performance to defend my title.

What is your favourite university sport moment?
When I won the final in this year’s Kumite competition -84 kg. I had strong opponents and difficult fights throughout the contest. It was an amazing feeling to be victorious accompanied by my team members, family and friends.

What is your message to European student-athletes like yourself?
Never give up, especially when there are difficult times, in either training, studying or competing at tournaments. In the end it will pay off.

EUSA would like to congratulate Robin for his success at the 2019 European Universities Championships, and we hope to see him next year at the European Universities Games 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia!