Racice (dpa) – The German medal hopes have made an encouraging start to the rowing world championships. Both Oliver Zeidler and Alexandra Föster dominated the single heat on the first day of the title fights on the regatta course in Racice, Czech Republic.
This fuels hopes for a better performance of the DRV fleet than in the weak home EM five weeks ago in Munich with only one bronze in the 14 Olympic classes. “It wasn’t bad for the start. It showed that the training of the past few weeks was worth it,” commented Zeidler.
Zeidler has big plans for the World Cup
After his annoying fourth place at the European Championships on his home track in Oberschleißheim, the 2019 World Champion has big plans for the highlight of the season. At least the overture went according to plan. In tricky conditions with gusty winds, the 26-year-old from Munich kept his nerve and relegated the strong New Zealander Jordan Parry (New Zealand) to second place by a good boat length. The unchallenged victory with the fastest time of all six heats spared Zeidler the exhausting repechage. With a view to the quarter-finals on Wednesday, however, he didn’t want to overestimate the easy start to the World Cup: “It starts all over again.”
Föster’s start to the week-long title fights was similarly confident. 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 a manner typical of her, the third place in the European Championship benefited from her strong finish and built up a comfortable lead of almost three seconds on the second half of the course. “The race was good for your head and gives you security,” said Föster trainer Sebastian Kleinsorgen.
National coach wants to “revise” Munich’s appearance at the European Championship
The other DRV boats that started in the 14 Olympic classes on Sunday also stayed on schedule. A second place was enough for the light men’s doubles sculls and fourth place for the heavy men’s doubles sculls to advance to the quarter-finals.
According to national coach Brigitte Bielig, the DRV fleet wants to “revise” Munich’s poor performance at the European Championships in Racice. In addition to the two ones, only the eight is considered a contender for a podium place. For the crew around batsman Torben Johannesen (Hamburg), who had to settle for fourth place in Munich, the World Cup begins on Tuesday. After corona-related failures of the women’s eight, men’s fours and women’s twos without a helmswoman, the DRV squad, which was already depleted, will compete in only nine Olympic boat classes at the World Cup. “This is probably the smallest team in history,” said sports director Mario Woldt.
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