Rowing: World Cup final without Germany eight – only Zeidler on course

World Cup final without Germany eight – only Zeidler on course

There was a corona case in the Germany eight. photo

© Sven Hoppe/dpa

Even the parade boat cannot stop the negative trend of the German rowers. After the World Cup from the eights, the DRV hopes rest only on Oliver Zeidler.

Long after the bitter end of the World Cup, the rowers from the aft remained almost motionless on their roller seats. The certainty that for the first time since Beijing 2008 the finale of a season highlight without German participation caused deep frustration.

Third place in the repechage of the title fights from Racice in the Czech Republic, a good five seconds behind the Netherlands and the USA, sealed the knockout of the former DRV parade boat. “We don’t have enough horsepower on board. Then it’s only enough for a 900 meter fight and not for 2000. We run out of resources and we fight with blunt weapons,” complained helmsman Jonas Wiesen.

Corona case in the eighth

Just like three days earlier with the disappointing fourth place in the preliminary heat, the guarantors of success of the past few years were clearly behind the world leaders. Julian Garth’s short-term absence after a positive corona test proved to be an additional handicap. The DRV team was only competitive up to the 1000 meter mark, but then lost contact with the two leading boats. “The gap to the top of the world and the Olympic qualifying places is very big,” admitted batsman Torben Johannesen, “we have a lot of catching up to do and have to move closer together in the winter.”

Despite all the frustration about the setback, coach Uwe Bender asked for patience with the young team, which had changed six positions at the beginning of the season. He sees no reason for another massive conversion: “The others have shown us the limits. But we are a very young eight who are not yet at the level. We have five rowers from the U23 age group on board.”

Zeidler on course for a medal

Unlike the eight, Oliver Zeidler gave the DRV fleet a rare World Cup ray of hope. With his comfortable semi-final victory over Graeme Thomas (Great Britain) and Jordan Parry (New Zealand), the 2019 world champion from Munich underpinned his claim to a medal. The splendid performance fueled his anticipation of the skiff showdown on Sunday (2:44 p.m.): “Everyone will be in the boat with a knife in their mouth,” commented Zeidler, referring to the narrow gaps among the world leaders.

Zeidler is the last remaining trump card of the DRV in the finals of the Olympic competition classes. Although the women’s double sculls are still in the finals of the 14 Olympic classes, coming third in the semi-finals should have little chance of a medal. Although Zeidler set the best one-on-one time on Friday, he passed the role of favorite to European champion Melvin Twellaar (Netherlands), against whom he had lost the quarter-finals. “Melvin is unbeaten here so far. But just like in 2019, when I became world champion, all six finalists can win the title.”

On the other hand, the dream of a podium finish for Alexandra Föster is over. The only 20-year-old rower from Meschede, who surprised this season with the World Cup victory in Lucerne and third place at the home European Championships in Munich, missed the final despite a courageous final sprint in fourth place. “Unlike in Lucerne and Munich, Alex’s spurt wasn’t enough this time. Ultimately, it was the weakest race in this good year so far – unfortunately at the high point of the season,” said Föster trainer Sebastian Kleinsorgen.


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