European Rowing Championships in Szeged: Rowers gain courage for Paris – third European Championship title for Zeidler

European Rowing Championships in Szeged: Rowers gain courage for Paris – third European Championship title for Zeidler

Oliver Zeidler cannot be beaten at the moment. In Szeged he won his third European title. The return of the eight to the top of the world also increases anticipation for the Olympic rowing regatta.

Gold in the single, silver in the eight and three other amazing medals – the German rowers gained courage for the 2024 Olympics in Paris at the European Championships. One day after the eight-man crew returned to the top of the world, Oliver Zeidler also demonstrated strong nerves and stamina.

The victory in the title fights in Szeged in front of Olympic champion Stefanos Ntouskos from Greece gave the world champion his third continental skiff triumph after 2019 and 2021. “That’s a nice title. But ultimately only one race counts this year – the final in Paris,” commented the 27-year-old from Munich. “An Olympic medal is the only thing missing from my collection.”

As at the World Cup two weeks earlier in Varese, Zeidler lived up to his role as favorite in an impressive manner. Even Ntouskos’ strong start, who was still ahead at the 500-meter mark, didn’t faze him. Zeidler fought his way up stroke by stroke and was a good boat length ahead of his strongest competitor at the finish. The former swimmer is now the biggest candidate for gold and is entering the final preparation for the Olympic showdown in the French capital in the summer, but he still sees a lot of work to do: “The headwind made my path to the title very difficult today. I’m not in shape yet , with whom I want to go to the Olympic Games.”

Parade boat takes silver

There was also reason to be happy for the Germany eight. Finally the long wait for a medal ended. For the first time since the 2021 Olympic silver medal in Tokyo, they made it into the top three in an internationally important regatta. The team around batsman Hannes Ocik (Schwerin) only had to admit defeat to world champion Great Britain, but – unlike at the start of the title fights two days earlier – left their competitors from Romania and Italy behind. “The first race woke us up. We had to be hard on ourselves and showed a good reaction. That makes us want more and motivates us for the future,” said Ocik.

Despite the difficult conditions with a strong headwind, the fifth-place finisher put on a remarkable performance. As demanded by national coach Sabine Tschäge after the weak race on Thursday, the team did not give in after a good 1000 meters, but instead fended off the Romanians’ attack. The fact that the gap to the British, who had been dominant for years, was ultimately only half a boat length was seen by everyone involved as an indication of growing competitiveness. “We have shown the answer we were hoping for. But it won’t be a sure-fire success,” said Tschäge.

Several medals round off a good record

Alexandra Föster won another silver medal. The German singles champion from Meschede crossed the finish line almost five seconds behind Serbian Jovana Arsic and thus celebrated the best European Championship result of her young career. “The Olympic final is my goal. There will be some strong opponents in Paris,” said the 22-year-old.

Two bronze medals rounded off the impressive DRV record in the 14 Olympic competition classes. In an exciting finish, the duo Jonas Gelsen and Marc Weber (Frankfurt/Main/Marburg) narrowly missed out on silver in the double sculls, finishing third behind Romania and Spain. The women’s double sculls also showed progress. “The medal is a good self-confidence boost,” commented batswoman Pia Greiten (Osnabrück).

Source: Stern

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