Friday - September 2, 2016
Paralympics: 18 athletes from TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen on the German team for Rio

Convincing performances

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Favorite in the long jump: Markus Rehm holds the world record with a leap of 8.40 meters.

Rio de Janeiro, September 2016 – 18 athletes from TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen will travel to Rio de Janeiro with good chances of winning a medal. Once again the club will provide the largest contingent in the German team at the 15th Paralympic Games, due to take place from September 7-18. “Our athletes have trained hard and will compete in Rio in top form,” said Jürgen Beckmann, Sports Coordinator of Bayer AG, who is convinced of the strength of the Bayer team. “If they perform close to their peak, they could be among the prime contenders for medals.”

In track and field events, ten members of the Leverkusen club have been nominated. Markus Rehm and Heinrich Popow are the best known. In 2015, Rehm made international headlines with his record leap of 8.40 meters in the long jump. Popow won a Gold medal in the 100 meters at the 2012 Paralympics in London. He is also reigning World and European champion at this distance as well as the world record holder in the long jump in his classification. The long jump pit could therefore be a gold mine in Rio. With Rehm, Popow and Vanessa Low, three Bayer athletes will be competing as world record holders in their classifications and as leaders in the world rankings.

The prospects are also good over the short distances, where Leverkusen sprinters broke three European records just before the Paralympics. In the shot put, Birgit Kober and Franziska Liebhardt hold world records and also lead the world rankings in their classifications.

In sitting volleyball, the German team has six players from Leverkusen. If everything goes well, another medal should be possible. One member of the team is 41-year old Jürgen Schrapp. The veteran, who works in Procurement at Bayer's Consumer Health division, will compete in the Paralympics for the fourth time.

Bayer AG has been sponsoring disabled sports since 1950, and top athletes from TSV have been taking part at the Paralympics since 1984. A success story: TSV athletes have won a total of 66 medals at the Paralympics, 43 of them in track and field alone. The athletes not only benefit from optimal training facilities, they also have an opportunity to pursue a dual career in Bayer AG’s athletes’ class or the Elite Sports School. Leverkusen is the only Paralympic training center in Germany for three different sports: Track and field, sitting volleyball and swimming.

The Paralympics competitors from TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Track and Field: David Behre (100 / 200 / 400 m / 4 x 100 m), Irmgard Bensusan (100 / 200 / 400 m), Johannes Floors (100 / 200 / 400 m / 4 x 100 m), Birgit Kober (shot put), Franziska Liebhardt (long jump / shot put), Vanessa Low (long jump / 100 m), Heinrich Popow (long jump / 100 m), Markus Rehm (long jump / 100 m / 4 x 100 m), Léon Schäfer (100 m / long jump / high jump), Felix Streng (long jump, 100 m/200 m/ 4 x 100 m)

Swimming: Tobias Pollap (50 / 100 m freestyle / 50 m butterfly / 200 m medley) and Hannes Schürmann (50 / 100 / 400 m freestyle / 100 m backstroke / 50 m butterfly / 200 m medley).

Sitting volleyball:
Dominik Albrecht, Stefan Hähnlein, Lukas Schiwy, Jürgen Schrapp, Stefan Schu, Mathis Tigler.

Also from Leverkusen are six members of the German team’s support staff – Dr. Karl Quade (Chef de mission), Thomas Kipping (orthopedic technician), Ulrich Niepoth (physical therapist), and coaches Steffi Nerius, Karl-Heinz Düe and Marion Haas-Faller.

Find a Paralympics-Factsheet here.

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