For a mechanical engineer winning double gold was all about refined techniques

Claudia Hombach

During the week Claudia Hombach became very much familiar with the podium in Myyrmäki, Vantaa.

German 45-year-old first-timer took the brightest medals in both shot put and cricket ball throw on Saturday’s track and field competitions. And on Friday she became second in javelin throw, her most recent takeover.

– Actually it’s the main sport of my trainer, who’s world class in seniors. There’s a lot of pressure for me to be as good, Hombach laughs.

There’s something very compelling in throw events in track and field for Hombach who works as a professional mechanical engineer in her home city of Mönchengladbach.

– It’s simply beautiful. I love the technical side of throwing, in javelin throw particularly. It’s an event in which I really want to get better. Right now I’m still more of a beginner.

In addition to winning medals in javelin, cricket ball throw and shot put, she competed in other events too during the week purely out of passion and joy. Although not making it on the podium in double’s petanque, 400 meter relay and high jump, she’s not disappointed – quite the opposite.

– For me it was still all about having fun and enjoying myself. I’ve met many amazing people from different countries during this week. Also the energy that I’ve got from the organizers and volunteers has been amazing. Since for most of us, it’s the first time in Finland, we’ve had some free time to see the cities too and not just the stadium. I’ve been enjoying myself so much that I decided to return in Finland for my holiday, Hombach, who celebrated her birthday on Thursday, rejoices.

It’s this kind of social side and joy in sports that made her return in athletics after many years. In her childhood Hombach actively did heptathlon but since 16-year-old teen it was mostly replaced with engineering studies and later work as a mechanical engineer.

Three years ago everything changed when she had to go through a tough liver transplantation. Her five minutes older twin sister Astrid donated a part of hers, their oldest sister was also willing to do the same. And Hombach’s long-time husband stood by her side and kept encouraging through the serious problems and hard times that followed.

– After my “second birthday” I thought I wanted to return to athletics. So I did the German Sports Badge and really rediscovered the joy in sports.

Since then she’s competed twice in the German national championships and now in the European championships winning double gold. There’s an obvious path to continue on.

– Next year I want to compete in the World championships in Malaga, Spain. I just want to get even better in my main events and then see what happens, she smiles.

Text and picture: Felix Siivonen