Blade (dpa) – Promote upward trend or damper regeneration? German rowers are having a difficult start to the important pre-Olympic season.
Eight months after Racice’s historic World Championship defeat, the European Championships this weekend in Bled should provide new hope in the battle for Olympic starting places. There are few claims to the past, when sport regularly guaranteed success. “For us, it’s definitely not about counting medals. We have to bake smaller rolls,” said coach Brigitte Peleg, aiming for the first international spot after much necessary renovation work.
The alarming record at the World Championships, where only German boats competed in two finals in 14 Olympic classes, greatly damaged the image of the sport. Another reason to intensify the search for the influence of past years. Peleg is in good spirits as the right conclusions have been drawn: “2022 has been a very difficult year for all of us. But a lot has happened in the fall and winter. My impression is that we have made strides forward.”
Cabinet reshuffles in Germany eight
Meanwhile, even Germany’s glorious eight said goodbye to the top of the world. A new coach, new batsman, and two changes should help bridge the gap in the top boats. “EM will be a plate right away, whatever has prestige and reputation is in the beginning. It will definitely be a benchmark,” said trainer Sabine Chag.
Finishing on the podium in a clash with world champions Great Britain and World Cup runner-up Holland could bolster faith in a successful Olympic qualification at the end of the season at the Belgrade World Cup. “If we can now complete the things we’ve worked on, we can go beyond them,” commented Tschäge, the first woman to take on the exposed rowing assignment. Newcomer to the boat and batsman Mark Kaman (Hamburg) was similarly combative: “It’s not just about getting involved, but also about setting an example.”
The men’s single has recently become the DRV parade boat. After winning the World Cup in Racice and winning his first World Cup three weeks earlier in Zagreb, Oliver Zeidler was Germany’s only hope for gold at the European Championships with 560 participants from 33 countries. The main rivals of the 26-year-old from Munich are likely to be Olympic champions Stefanos Ntoskos (Greece), Ketil Borsch (Norway) and Sverre Nielsen (Denmark).
On the other hand, the DRV boat does not start in the women’s singles. Alexandra Foster, who finished third to DRV’s only medal in the Olympic sculls at the last Euro 2022 in Munich, is not yet in her best shape after injury problems at the start of the year.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 230524-99-808463/2
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