Katharina Haecker (judo) will be making her second Commonwealth Games appearance in the women’s under 63kg in Birmingham after finishing 5th in Glasgow eight years ago. Born in Germany to an Australian father and German mother, Katharina was introduced to the sport when she was 6 and won several junior titles in her native country. After finishing high school, she quit judo and decided to explore Australia. She later returned to Germany where she recommenced her love of the sport and began training with her current coach – now husband – Alex Luedeke. Haecker then decided to switch allegiances to Australia, winning the 2014 Oceania title and taking her place at the 2014 Games in Glasgow. After winning the Oceania titles in 2015 and 2016, she qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics, losing in the second round. After repeating her Oceania success in 2017 and 2018 – and winning the Tel Aviv Grand Prix in 2020 – she made her second Olympic appearance in Tokyo where she was eliminated in the round of 16. Katharina and Alex permanently relocated to Australia in 2021 where she now trains at the CombatAus National Performance Centre in Melbourne. She has a black teddy bear which she carries for good luck.
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