WWill the biggest upheaval in the Germany eight in over ten years succeed or not? In any case, the weather was not a good omen. Rain and sunshine alternated during the presentation of the German parade boat on the Ems Canal. National coach Uwe Bender stated that his rowers are currently still a long way from the desired optimum.
But that can’t be any different. Mattes Schönherr, Wolf-Niclas Schröder, Julian Garth, Benedict Eggeling, Jasper Angl and helmsman Jonas Wiesen: A total of six new yachts will take their place in the German rowing flagship.
A lot of patience needed
The reshuffle is tantamount to a makeover. Garth, 2.04 meters tall and weighing 95 kilograms, is just 20 years old and the “chick” of the troupe, whose average age is only three years older. Youth should not be an obstacle to future triumphs.
Like their predecessors, the youngsters intend to regularly claim podium finishes at world championships and the Olympic Games. But Bender knows that it will also require a lot of patience until the individual athletes are optimally coordinated as a team and can achieve the hoped-for performance together.
“still at the beginning”
“That takes a few thousand kilometers in the boat and you need the right amount of time for that,” said the 63-year-old. “We’re still at the beginning, but we’ve always had positive signals.” The young athletes are inquisitive, motivated and ambitious. The presence of so many talented people who have made it to the top is also the result of the excellent promotion of young talent in Germany. But what is still missing for a world-class level is consistency.
The newcomers should benefit from the experience of Torben Johannesen and Olaf Roggensack, who won silver at the 2020 Olympics and are now the veterans aged 27 and 25. Roggensack, who was still one of the younger guys in Tokyo, can empathize well with the situation of the up-and-coming colleagues: “Of course, Torben and I have special experience with our participation in the Olympics. It’s something unique,” he said.
But even the newcomers are not unknown due to their successes in the juniors and know how to perform under competitive pressure. Nevertheless, Bender relies on the stabilizing effect of the older age group: “Torben and Olaf are now the ones who are the greatest role models with their medals,” he said. “They now have the great influence to take the boys by the hand in the right direction.”
Develop a “common style”.
According to Bender, it is important to develop a “common language” and a “common style” as quickly as possible. He still has around two years to achieve the goal of the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The task has been made more difficult for the national coach in recent weeks. Covid absences and difficulties for some rowers to combine work and studies hampered the formation of the squad.
But now the team is in place and the first tests are not far away: In just under two weeks we’re off to the World Cup in Poland, followed by the next World Cup in Lucerne on July 8th and a home appearance at the European Championships in Munich in August. There it will be seen whether the sun is already shining for the Germany eight or whether he is still standing in the rain.