Status: 09/19/2022 09:32 a.m

    Five weeks after the poor appearance at the European Championships, the German rowers are threatened with another disillusionment at the World Cup. The anticipation is muted.

    After there was only one bronze medal in the 14 Olympic boat classes at the European Championships in Munich, there is a risk of another sporting lull at the season’s highlight from September 18th to 25th in Racice (Czech Republic). Tensions between athletes and the leadership of the association have recently caused further negative headlines. Large jumps in performance are hardly to be expected in this situation. Brigitte Bielig dampened expectations. “We have to bake small rolls. We are not yet as competitive internationally as we would like.”said the national coach.

    Restructuring inevitable

    The times when the largest rowing association in the world reliably ensured international success are over. Restructuring is unavoidable in order to reestablish contact with the world elite. For the following pre-Olympic season, training operations will be centralized at three management bases. The training camps in Zakopane (Poland) and Völkermarkt (Austria) were therefore not only used to prepare for the World Championships, but also to talk to the athletes and promote these plans. This should also contribute to improving the internal climate.

    Bielig is asking for patience with the younger squad

    It is quite possible that the calls for changes after the World Cup will become even louder. After all, the number of medal aspirants is as manageable as rarely. Only the two ones with Oliver Zeidler (Munich) and Alexandra Föster (Menden) and the eighth have a chance of a podium finish. Bielig asked for patience with the greatly reduced squad: “It’s not going to be the year in which we trump.”

    Solid start in the heats

    Zeidler and Förster then also started successfully in the World Cup on Sunday (September 18th, 2022). With a sovereign victory in the preliminary heat, he made it into the quarter-finals. The 26-year-old from Munich relegated his competitors Jordan Parry (New Zealand) and Ryuta Arakawa (Japan) to second and third place in gusty winds by a good boat length. “It wasn’t bad for the start. It has shown that the training of the past few weeks has paid off.”commented Zeidler.

    Foster didn’t have any problems either. The 20-year-old talent from Meschede, who has been among the best in the world since winning the World Cup on the Rotsee in Lucerne and taking third place at the European Championships in Munich, finished ahead of Emma Lunatti (France) and Jeanine Gmelin (Switzerland). In typical fashion, Föster benefited from her strong finish and built up a comfortable lead of almost three seconds on the second half of the course.

    The women’s sculls, sculls and lightweight sculls, on the other hand, missed direct progress and have to go on the repechage as well as the men’s coxless fours.

    Eighth not in the narrow circle of favorites

    Even the long-standing guarantors of success from the eights, who now also have to do without the two professionally disabled top performers Laurits Follert and Olaf Roggensack after the already big upheaval at the start of the season, are no longer among the narrow favorites after fourth place in Munich. However, the good performances in the training camp give coach Uwe Bender courage: “We want to fight for the podium. We always have big plans. Of course, that’s also part of the history of the Germany eight.”

    Three teams are missing, men’s double sculls leave the World Cup

    To make matters worse, the corona virus also reduces the effectiveness of the DRV fleet. After various positive tests, three teams had to do without a start: the men’s fours, the women’s twos without a coxswain and the women’s eights. “We’re starting with a massively depleted team. Unfortunately, for us it will be a World Cup for those who are left.”Bielig complained and hopes that there will be no further infections: “We can’t have that much bad luck.”

    For the double sculls with Max Appel (Magdeburg) and Moritz Wolff (Berlin), the fights for the title were quickly over. For personal reasons, the duo decided not to start in the quarter-finals on Wednesday. The boat had only qualified for the quarter-finals as fourth in the heat.