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MENJE Merle Marie
Sport Para athletics, Para cross-country
NPC Germany   
GenderWomen
Age18
Place of BirthMainz, GER
Human Interest
Impairment Information
Origin of Impairment
Congenital
Further Personal Information
Residence
Singen, GER
Occupation
Athlete, Student
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
Club / Team
StTV Singen: Germany
General Interest
Nicknames
German Wunderkind (sportschau.de, 05 Jun 2021; welt.de, 06 Jun 2021)
Most influential person in career
Her parents. (suedkurier.de, 10 Jun 2021)
Hero / Idol
Swiss wheelchair racers Manuela Schar and Marcel Hug. (invacare.de, 05 Jun 2021)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"The longer the distance, the better." (invacare.de, 05 Jun 2021)
Awards and honours
She was named 2021 Young Para Athlete of the Year by the German Disabled Sports Association [DBS]. (dbs-npc.de, 07 Dec 2021)
Other sports
She has represented Germany in both Para athletics and Para cross-country skiing. She competed in T54 wheelchair racing events at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, and in cross-country skiing sitting events at the 2021 World Championships in Lillehammer, Norway. (SportsDeskOnline, 09 Feb 2022; sportschau.de, 05 Jun 2021; nordski.de, 01 Dec 2018)
Ambitions
To compete at the 2022 Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing and the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. (Wochenblatt, 22 Sep 2021; welt.de, 06 Jun 2021)
Impairment
She has spina bifida. (teamdeutschland-paralympics.de, 28 Jul 2021)
Other information
MULTI-SPORT ATHLETE
She says she does not have a preference between wheelchair racing and Para cross-country skiing, having competed in both sports at elite level. "Both sports complement each other very well. From a purely athletic point of view, the applied muscle groups are relatively the same. For cross-country skiing, however, you need stronger abdominal and back muscles to keep your balance and manoeuvre. I don't have a preference. I like the freedom in both sports, the technique, the fun of movement, and the speed you can get." (tagesspiegel.de, 29 Aug 2021)

Competition Highlights (historical)
Paralympic Games - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
6 2021 5000m T54 11:16.38
4 2021 800m T54 1:46.43
4 2021 1500m T54 3:28.64
8 2021 400m T54 56.69
5 2021 4 x 100m Medley  
World Championships - Para cross-country
Rank Year Event Result
9 2021/2022 7.5km - Sitting 33:00.8
10 2021/2022 15km - Sitting 53:46.9
7 2021/2022 Sprint - Sitting  
5 2021/2022 4 x 2.5km Relay Mixed 32:39.8
European Championships - Para athletics
Rank Year Event Result
2 2021 100m T54 17.16
4 2021 1500m T54 3:39.13
1 2021 400m T54 57.53
2 2021 800m T54 1:52.04
1 2021 5000m T54 11:52.30