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Miryam Roper back in the World Tour fighting for Panama
20 May 2017 10:40
34-Year Miryam Roper debuted a few weeks ago for Panama at the Pan American Games. Panama offers Roper a new adventure. Roper will make her comeback in the World Tour. Ekaterinburg is the setting for the former World bronze medallist.
Roper, who received her first call-up for the German national team aged 25, finished fifth at the Baku Grand Slam last year and lost out to eventual Olympic champion Rafaela Silva (BRA) at Rio 2016 for the second Games in a row. With the German team keen to move forward with a new generation of young talent, ROPER, 34, was surplus to requirements and at that time it was clear in her mind what to do next.
“Before the Games, I already planned to fight at least until the World Championships 2017,” said Roper.
“After the Games I took a break from everything, no judo, no sports, just me enjoying free time. But after six weeks I was missing judo so much that I went to a judo training during my vacations in France and I enjoyed it.”
Roper’s father is from Panama and the veteran -57kg judoka immediately pursued the chance of competing for the country on the isthmus linking Central and South America.
“I have a big family in Panama and in Germany. So I am blessed. The first time I went to Panama, I felt in love with the nature, the beautiful beaches, the million different shades of green and the breathtaking butterflies. But it was a little bit difficult because I didn’t speak Spanish at that time.”
Roper wears a Panama flag for the second time this weekend after finishing fifth on her debut at the Pan American Championships this year which were ironically held in Panama.
After a fifth-place on her return, Roper, who last graced the IJF World Judo Tour at last year’s Masters, will finally be back on IJF duty on Saturday and is being supported to compete in Ekaterinburg by the IJF.
Miryam Roper won World bronze in 2013 in Rio and captured three European medals, a final in 2014 and European Games bronze in 2015. Won various international IJF events in Baku, Moscow, Rijeka, Abu Dhabi and Qingdao and over 10 IJF World Tour medals. In 2017 she switched from Germany to Panama.
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Andrew McWatt (GBR)