Germany’s Dirk Passiwan will make his return to the German national team at the Men’s European Championship in Wałbrzych, Poland this August.
Passiwan, who retired from the international game in 2017, has been enticed out of retirement with the possible prospect of his fourth Paralympic Games, in Tokyo 2020, having made himself available for selection earlier this year.
“After the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games my body needed a break after such a long time playing at this high level without a break. I felt that I mentally and physically needed the break and that’s why I decided to retire and only focus on my club team in Germany.
“I had great talks with Nicolai Zeltinger after the World Championships last year, and when I was watching the games in Hamburg, I still felt that I could help the team and I could play on this level even at the age of 42.
“It was good to have the two-year break and right now my body feels pretty good and I am really happy to help the team to reach our goals this year.
“Every time I am selected for Team Germany and have the chance to play for Team Germany and my country, it is an honour.”
The selection of the German team was made following a national team training camp in Wetzlar, Germany at the end of April, where Head Coach Nicolai Zeltinger announced the 12 athletes he would be taking to Poland.
He has made three changes from the team that finished 13th at the 2018 World Championship last year in Hamburg, Germany with the inclusion of Passiwan and youngsters Alexander Budde and Jens Eike Albrecht. The nine athletes to keep their place in the squad are Thomas Böhme, Jan Haller, Andre Bienek, Alex Halouski, Jan Sadler, Phillip Schorp, Nico Dreimüller and Christopher Huber.
They will compete against eleven other countries for European glory and for the four places available for next year’s Paralympics. Passiwan continued:
“I think there are so many teams who can play on the same level and only small margins will decide if you win or lose, but I think the main contenders will be the World Champions Great Britain, Poland as the home team and Turkey or Spain.
“My individual goals are to help our young team on and off the court and play my best basketball. For the team, we will look from game to game and get better as a team from game to game. I think our team goal needs to be to make the semi-finals to qualify for Tokyo, and then we will see what happens after we reach this goal.”
Germany’s Head Coach Nicolai Zeltinger, said:
“The new Team Germany has a lot of potential with which we can master our certainly challenging goals.”
|Player Name||Year of Birth||Classification|
|Jens Eike Albrecht||1991||3.0|
The 2019 Men’s European Championship will take place between the 30th August – 8th September in Wałbrzych, Poland.