17 January 2017
Within one year, Julius Kuhn turned from a replacement player of the German national team to “Mr. rocket shot” and a starter of the EURO champions. The 23-year-old, two metres tall left back is one of the fastest rising talents in Germany. After winning EURO gold and Olympic bronze in 2016, now he hopes to beat host France in France.
Germany beat Chile by 35:14 on Sunday – was it hard to keep the concentration high?
Julius Kuhn: “No, especially in matches like those you have be fully focussed to avoid injuries. Even as the match was decided quite early, we were eager to keep our rhythm. If you want to have a successful tournament, you need to carry on riding on this wave.”
As you will have quite manageable tasks against Saudi Arabia and Belarus ahead, do you already think of the eighth-finals or the final preliminary round clash against Croatia on Friday?
Julius Kühn: “Indeed, it looks like that our final preliminary round match against Croatia will decide about the first and the second position. But we keep our rhythm by focusing match by match and not taking the second step before the first.”
One year ago, you arrived as player replacement in the German team during the main round of the European championship, as Christian Dissinger was out by injury. Now you are the number one on your position and a starting seven player….
Julius Kuhn: “The year 2016 was a breathtaking one for me. I arrived in Poland in the middle of the tournament, became EURO champion, made my dream of Olympic participation and even an Olympic medal come true, and now I am a constant part of our national team. I have a new role in the team, I know what to do, all has settled after this quite hectic start in Poland in 2016. If I have one wish free, I want the year 2017 to be as successful as the last – with one exception: the unhappy defeat in the Olympic semi-final against France.”
But if Germany and France win their groups, they could again face in the semi-final of France 2017. A great chance for a revenge, right?
Julius Kuhn: “Usually I am not the one to look ahead so far, but the thought of beating France on French territory in another semi-final would be great revenge. To have this option in mind is top motivation to become group winner in Rouen. We still have a score to settle with France.”