After a clarifying conversation between critic Oliver Zeidler and the association, calm should return to the German rowers. But the next debacle is imminent at the World Cup. The DRV even recently admitted that the rowers have lost touch with the top European nations.
The crashing sinking of the German rowing fleet in Munich has hardly been digested, the devastating criticism of world champion Oliver Zeidler and the public Zoff by no means died away when the next debacle was already looming. Just a month after the miserable performance at the home European Championship, the crisis in the German Rowing Association (DRV) could worsen. Because the prospects before the World Cup in Racice/Czech Republic (September 18th to 25th) are bleak.
The association, prophesied Zeidler, would have had "no magic wand" to "suddenly manage to be competitive again on a broad front" after the disastrous European Championships with only one medal in the Olympic classes. Zeidler, who contests his lead on Sunday, recently showed unusual weaknesses, the success-spoilt eight has to fight after the upheaval and Alexandra Föster's bronze medal at the European Championship came as a bit of a surprise. Medal chances at the World Cup? Hardly ever.
The DRV recently even admitted that the German rowers have lost touch with the top European nations. This is probably one of the reasons why Zeidler and Co. tried to shake up the sporting leadership with pithy announcements about the European Championship. Although it is "stupid that it always has to be so extremely loud before something really happens and work is being done to uncover serious problems," said the one specialist to the sports information service, but he could "sleep in peace because I simply told the truth and speaks from the heart of many".
According to the DRV, what followed the dispute was a lot of talks – including with critic Zeidler. Time will tell, emphasized the 26-year-old, "whether the association is really willing to change something". He underlined his demands again: "One or the other change in personnel is needed", the association must "take criticism more seriously" and those responsible for the fulfillment of set goals must also be evaluated.
What insights the title fights in Racice offer is completely open. "Unfortunately for us it will be a World Cup for those who are left," said national coach Brigitte Bielig, who can only fall back on a thinned-out team in the Czech Republic. Due to corona problems, the DRV is only at the start in nine of the 14 Olympic boat classes.
Irrespective of this, the association asserts that it wants to turn things around quickly. An "expert council" is to analyze the problems and present solutions at the end of October - because the concerns are great. Anxious eyes are already on the World Cup next year, after all it is about qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Games.