Obituary: Juergen Klinger

British Judo is saddened to hear of the passing of former Team Bath Head Coach Juergen Klinger.

Juergen was born in 1951 in Hannover, Germany and was a regional coach for Lower Saxonie from 1982-2004. Juergen was the Assistant Coach of Germany at the Olympic Training Centre in Hannover from 1990-2005.

Having worked with many World and Olympic medallists, Juergen joined Team Bath in 2006, becoming Head Coach and overseeing the careers of the likes of Ben and Megan Fletcher, Gregg Varey and Tom Reed.

London Olympic Games where Sports Performance graduate Gemma Gibbons, who trained with Juergen from 2006 to 2009, won silver at London 2012. Emmanuel Nartey also represented Ghana at the 2012 Games and Juergen extended his career coaching until August 2021 to guide siblings Ben and Megan Fletcher and Prisca Awiti-Alcaraz to the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games.

Jeurgen was awarded his 7th Dan in 2015 following nomination from the British Judo Association.

Juergen retired from his role at Team Bath in 2020, saying he was proud to have overseen a programme that “helped to create people who were successful in both sport and education”.

Following his retirement, Juergen returned to his native Germany to join his wife, Sandra who was working as the women’s cadet coach for the national squad, but continued to oversee the careers of Ben and Megan and joined them both as they qualified for Tokyo 2020.

Adam Hall was coached by Juergen whilst studying Sports Performance at the University of Bath before later working alongside Head Coach and mentor Juergen as Assistant Coach before taking over the reins following his retirement.

Speaking of his friend and mentor, Hall said:

“Although it’s Team Bath, Juergen actually created a judo family here. This is a massive loss to all of us but we are proud of what he built, what he helped to develop in each of us both on and off the mat and we will all miss him greatly. He leaves a lasting impact on all those he’s worked with and that ripple effect will be part of his legacy.”

The thoughts of everybody at British Judo are with Juergen’s wife Sandra and his family.

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