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Frank Wieneke or Udo Quellmalz?

If you had to pick the first German champion to be inducted into the judo hall of fame, would it be Frank Wieneke or Udo Quellmalz? Let’s look at what they have achieved as competitors and later on, as coaches.

Who was the greater athlete?

Wieneke is an Olympic Champion and an Olympic silver medalist. Curiously, he doesn’t have a single World medal of any color. He was, however, a European Champion. His defeat of Great Britain’s Neil Adams at the Los Angeles Olympics ranks among the biggest upsets in Olympic history, and some would say it is the biggest upset of all time.

Quellmalz is an Olympic Champion and an Olympic bronze medalist. He’s also got lots of World medals, including two gold, one silver and one bronze. Strangely, he was never European Champion. He beat Japan’s Yukimasa Nakamura, one of the great stylists of his generation, not once but twice (at the Olympics and in the Worlds).

So, who is the superior athlete? Well, an argument could be made that Quellmalz has a slight edge because he was both an Olympic and World Champion (twice) whereas Wieneke was an Olympic and European Champion.

Now, let’s look at their coaching careers.

Wieneke focused his coaching efforts in Germany and had two great successes: Florian Wanner, who became World Champion in 2003; and Ole Bischof, who was Olympic Champion in 2008.

Quellmalz went on a different trajectory and went international, coaching in the UK and Austria. His greatest success was seeing Ludwig Paischer (AUT) make it to the 2008 Olympic final. He was recently appointed to be the head coach for the Flemish Judo Federation in Belgium.

It could be argued that although Wieneke did not have the international exposure that Quallmalz has, he has produced better results: a World and an Olympic Champion in the form of Wanner and Bischof, respectively.

So, in the final analysis, who would be more deserving to be in the hall of fame? If you take everything into consideration, it would really be a close call. It can be said that Quellmalz was slightly more accomplished as an athlete but Wieneke is ahead when it comes to producing top champions. 

It's a very close call. Both are great champions who had beaten the best in the world, and who later went on to have successful coaching careers.

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