Siblings from the Schwaig ring in the European Championship
Schwaig – And suddenly Oliver Zeidler was sitting in a canoe, paddling across the Olympic lake. It was a lot of fun for the world rowing champion from Schwaig when he swapped boats with Olympic champion Max Lemke. It is now a year ago and was the PR campaign for the European Championship starting today – the European Rowing Championship and Zeidler’s double participation.
Because in addition to the title aspirant in one, his younger sister Marie-Sophie is also at the start. From today it will be in a double four. It is difficult for a 23-year-old to judge the chances of success. Your team was only formed with this line-up three weeks ago and had only one training block in common. “We still have to find and develop as a team,” he asks for patience. But the chemistry between the girls is right.
Eight double fours are registered for the European Championship. “It would be a disappointment not to be among the six boats in the final,” says a state police officer (top sport). chances for a medal? Forecasts are impossible – especially since many boats from other nations were also manned.
Now he’s looking at the run-up this Thursday. If they are in first place, their team will qualify directly to Saturday’s final. Otherwise, there is a risk of a detour through repechage on Friday.
“The European Championship is the highlight of the year,” says Marie-Sophie Zeidler, as participating in the European Championship gives her a completely different status in public. She would like to see other competitions in the coming days, but on Tuesday she goes to the athletics training camp in Poland again – “without rowing training” – she adds. This denunciation by the officials of the association does not make them happy.
What her brother Oliver thinks about some of the decisions of the German Rowing Association (DRV), he recently explained in Munich’s Merkur. He described the state of German rowing as “a great disaster.”
Public responses to this have been consistently positive. He was very moved by letters and e-mails from active people, but also from parents of young athletes. “They thanked me for dealing with complaints and confirmed that they fully agree with me.”
And the bandage? He hasn’t heard anything so far, says Zeidler. National team coach Brigitte Bielig commented on this in the Berliner Morgenpost: “She is partially right, but I think the accusation of unprofessionalism in particular is too harsh.” His criticism does not make life easier for us as an association ”. Oliver Zeidler also represented his point of view at the association meeting – “but hopefully it will only take place after the competition.” Because now he is fully focused on sports. There are 21 boats registered in one – this is the largest number of participants in the entire regatta. Zeidler wants to win today’s heat. Then he would have qualified directly to the semi-finals and avoided repechage on Friday. “Conditions will be quite tough this weekend,” he explains. “We will have a headwind and Oberschleißheim is not a fast track anyway. Everyone wants to save themselves by running. “
Zeidler is not only a competition from recent years, such as Olympic champion Stefanos Ntouskos (Greece) and silver medalist Kjetil Borch (Norway). He considers these two tramps to be the toughest rivals to have already won the World Cup this year. British Thomas Graeme won in Lucerne, and Melvin Twellaar from the Netherlands was the fastest in Poznań. Zeidler himself triumphed at the opening of the World Cup in Belgrade. He then won a traditional regatta at Henley before having to take a ten-day break due to illness. He’s in good shape now – unlike some other German mortisers who now have to go through due to corona infection. However, due to individual training, Zeidler did not come into contact with them. And he should have made up for the missing training days by now. Recently, he has even ridden in good times like never before in standard training.
This year the World Cup is still approaching, “but this European Championship is the most important event of the year for me,” says the student. “I ride a track where I learned to paddle. This is my home European Championship. ” And this is where his grandfather Hans-Johann Färber won Olympic gold exactly 50 years ago in the so-called “Four Bulls”.
Speaking of the Olympics, “This is kind of a mini-Olympics,” says Oliver Zeidler. The European Championships with eleven different disciplines “are just great. I hope that this big event will spark interest in the sport that definitely exists in Germany and that we will be able to inspire young people. “
If all goes according to his plan, Oliver Zeidler will start the last race of this year’s European Rowing Championship on Sunday at 2pm – in the singles final. ” Then he wants to watch other games. “I have tickets for the upcoming track and field Tuesday, for example when the finals are approaching 100 meters,” he says. He will also participate in beach volleyball and canoeing competitions. Sculler is sure: “There will be a great atmosphere everywhere.” Impressions from the last days of training in Oberschleißheim confirm his opinion. “It’s really fun in here. Everything is very friendly and at the same time very professional. And catering – raves about – is better than at the Olympics.