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Judo fighter Franziska Zellner: Many successes, too many cruciate ligament tears


The talented judo fighter Franziska Zellner was facing a great career - but the left knee did not play along.

The talented judo fighter Franziska Zellner was facing a great career - but the left knee did not play along.

Schweitenkirchen / Wolfersdorf

- It was actually just a leisure activity for her older, school-age siblings.

But little Franziska Zellner didn't want to be left out.

She went with them - and from then on she couldn't be gotten off the judo mat.

Of course, the now 27-year-old made riding - which, by the way, she has been actively doing again for five years - great fun.

Both sports together, but that was too much.

And that's why she decided to play judo at FC Schweitenkirchen.

“I was very enthusiastic about the opportunities to measure yourself against others on the mat, but at the same time not against each other, but with each other in order to improve.

Just like the various techniques and possibilities to bring someone off balance and at the same time not to be thrown yourself ”, describes the former Wolfersdorf woman her fascination for this sport.


Judoka Franziska Zellner from Wolfersdorf, here with her trainer Franz Dausch, is incredibly proud of third place at the international tournament in Berlin 2012.

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In 2001, when she was eight, she competed in her first competition.

And from then on at the latest she was totally enthusiastic about judo.

Above all, she was very diligent in training - and persevering: “I dug my way into the techniques and practiced until I understood them and could use them,” she describes the early days.

The ambition paid off: in 2003 she became the Upper Bavarian Champion for the first time in her age and weight class.

Her talent and ability did not go unnoticed, of course: She was appointed to the Upper Bavaria and Bavaria squad - and was even a member of the national team for the juniors.

Training at the Munich-Großhadern base

Competitive sport soon developed a kind of "life of its own".

Everything concentrated on the training, the training camps, maintaining the weight or adjusting it before the upcoming competitions.

The workload became more and more intense - Franziska and her trainer Franz Dausch drove more and more to the Munich-Großhadern base.

There she belonged to the training group for a few years and also lived in a senior citizens' home during her voluntary service as well as studying social work nearby.

This enabled her to better combine competitive sport with training.


That was once upon a time: “Sissi”, as she is called, at the beginning.

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During this time the tournaments, for example in Sweden, Poland, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, but also the training camps (with France, Brazil and Sweden) became more and more international.

It started a great career.

But the body - or rather the left knee - no longer played along: In 2011, Franziska Zellner tore her anterior left cruciate ligament for the first time during a fight at the training camp in Austria.

In 2012 a partial tear of the same cruciate ligament followed at a training camp in France and, good things don't always come in threes, in 2013 at the Munich base the complete tear, again in the left knee.

One operation followed the other, so to speak.

In the meantime I had many appointments with physiotherapists and strength training units.

But that is not the same as practicing the sport for which the heart burns.

Franziska Zellner at the end of her career after the fourth cruciate ligament tear.

But the ambitious judo fighter didn't give up - she wanted to continue her beloved sport.

She also got back into the competition.

But the injuries increased - and that's why she said goodbye to competitive sport in 2014 with a heavy heart.

As a hobby, she says, she continued, taking part in competitions with the women's team at FC Schweitenkirchen.

But the left knee was too battered and unstable even for that.

When in 2017 she not only tore the cruciate ligament for the fourth time, but also tore the inner ligament, she listened to the advice of her sports orthopedic surgeon not to participate in competitions or contact sports.


Almost always on top: She finished third in the German U17 individual championship.

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Anyone who has ever had to make such a decision knows how badly it affects the psyche.

It was no different with Franziska Zellner.

She describes her exit as follows: “When body and mind are used to being exhausted every day, and suddenly it no longer works because you are only on crutches, then it is very exhausting and difficult to bear.

In the meantime I had many appointments with physiotherapists and strength training units.

But that is not the same as practicing the sport for which the heart burns. "

She did not fully say “Servus” to sport

The 27-year-old doesn't even want to speculate about the “what if?”.

But presumably her path would have been completely different without the injuries, since her career has shown steeply above.

But she didn't say “Servus” entirely to sport.

She's been riding again for five years, and in 2019 she got her climbing license.

And another new hobby: she started sewing.


Vacation in Croatia 2019 - Franziska Zellner (27) fondly remembers that.

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However, there is one thing that she does not want to ignore.

This is your thank you to your parents, the family, including that of your trainer Franz Dausch, of course to the training group, from which long-standing and lasting friendships have developed - and not least “to my club FC Schweitenkirchen, without whom none of this is possible would have been".

And then there is her job, which she really enjoys.

In 2020 she successfully completed further training as a systemic individual, couple and family therapist while working.

Still single, but in a steady relationship for several years, she works for a social agency in the Freising district.

Franziska Zellner has not given much thought to whether she will ever pass on her sporting knowledge.

Also interesting:

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Source: merkur

All sports articles on 2021-01-22

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