Just 39 days after the end of the swimming world championships, the European championships will start on August 11th in Rome. In the fast open-air pool in the Foro Italico, German swimmers are also among the favorites in some races.
Olympic champion Florian Wellbrock and some of his colleagues also had to deal with problems before the title fights. The most important questions and answers about the European Championship:
It was just the World Cup, why now another European swimming championship?
Several corona-related postponements are still affecting the swimmers’ schedules. The EM has been planned for a long time. Originally there should be no World Cup in 2022. First, however, the title fights in Japan, which were actually planned for 2021, were scheduled for this year. And when these were then postponed for another year, Hungary jumped in as an additional World Cup host for 2022.
Which sports are included in the European Championship?
As with the World Championships, medals will be awarded in pool swimming, open water swimming, synchronized swimming and diving. In addition, there are also the cliff divers. With their jumps from great heights, they ensure spectacular pictures. Unlike the world title fights, the water polo players carry out their EM separately.
What are the German chances?
The German team is weakened for several reasons in the European Championship. The two top swimmers Wellbrock and Lukas Märtens became infected with the corona virus after the World Cup. Wellbrock in particular is still struggling with the effects. The man from Magdeburg definitely doesn't want to compete in five competitions like the World Championships, where he won five medals. Whether Wellbrock comes close to his top form and whether he can swim for titles is very questionable.
While Wellbrock and Märtens are there, other athletes are completely absent due to illness or injuries. "We had hoped to be able to compete with a very large team. Unfortunately, we don't have that anymore," said long-distance national coach Bernd Berkhahn. The termination also affects the German squad. Among others, the silver medalist at the World Championships, Anna Elendt, will not attend the European Championships because her studies in the USA have already started again.
Can I follow the EM on TV?
Unlike the World Cup, there will be live images from the European Championships on television. ARD and ZDF broadcast races as part of the reporting on the parallel European Championships in Munich. "We're delighted that public television is there and broadcasting the championships," said Berkhahn.