Olympia 2021 | ‘Mock Fighting’: Manipulating the Sense of German Karate

Noah Beach was torn between pride and anger. German karateka and his national coach Thomas Nichmann have leveled serious charges against two competitors after the 31-year-old was eliminated from the preliminary round at the Tokyo Olympics.

“Everyone who knows the two knows that the fight was fictitious,” Nichmann said of the recent duel in the group stage between Azerbaijan’s Rafael Agayev and Italy’s Luigi Bossa. Agayev let Bossa “win until they both advance”. Beach suffered even more – after the last fight of his career.

Not ready for the Olympics

Beach talked about a “trick” the two competitors hit him. “I don’t know why,” he said. “They are very exciting guys.” Fair play is actually part of the Olympic Games. “What they brought was not ready for the Olympics.” Later Agayev and Bossa faced each other in the final, and the Italian won the gold medal.

In order to reach the semi-finals of the weight class up to 75 kg in the Kumite system, Bitsch was supposed to have taken one of the first two places in his group. But he was only the third. After losing to Agayev and defeating the Kazakh Nurkanat Ashekano, he lost to Bossa. Although he again beat Tsuneri Yehiro (Australia), his lead depended on the duel between Agayev and Bosa. Had Bossa lost, Beach would have finished second. But the Italian won. “A draw would have been enough,” Nichmann said. But it’s hard to keep a tie in such a way that it goes unnoticed.”

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The Azerbaijani admitted that the defeat really suited him: “I wanted to take second place in the group so that I could fight the Hungarians in the semi-finals. This was my tactic.”

Olympic bid

Karate celebrates its first Olympic parade in Tokyo, but is no longer part of the program at the 2024 Games in Paris. So it’s just a brief appearance on the biggest stage in sports – and then there are doubts like this in the hall. “That’s tragic, of course,” said Nichmann, “but in the end Noah had it in his hands to beat Luigi himself – so that situation wouldn’t happen.” According to his own testimony, he feared such a scenario after the lottery.

Beach himself said he should take care of himself and did not use his “match point” against Bossa, and despite losing the medal, he was satisfied with his performance. After all, he sustained a serious knee injury in qualifying in Paris in June and has only been able to train on a limited basis since then. “This was my last competition,” said the athlete from Waltershausen. “This is the end of my career.” This goodbye can’t really get a taste of it.

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