ETina Punzel and Lou Massenberg first cheered in the midday heat, then Isabel Gose and Lukas Märtens crawled within nine minutes in the evening to a double triumph in the Foro Italico: On golden Wednesday, the German athletes at the European Swimming Championships in Rome greatly improved their medal balance . After the disappointing first few days of the water jumpers, the synchronized mixed couple provided relief with the victory from the 3m board, the Magdeburg swimming couple with their first gold medals brought the pool race to a brilliant conclusion.
Gose wanted to jump into the pool again when, shortly after her European Championship triumph, her friend Lukas Märtens also scratched for gold. “I would have loved to have run through to him straight into the water, but they didn’t let me through,” said the new European champion in the 400m freestyle, laughing. On the screen, the 20-year-old watched her partner repeat her success on the same route nine minutes later.
Hard final sprint
Märtens also took a close look at his partner. “I saw how solidly she did it and took an example from that,” said the 20-year-old. The teamwork worked perfectly: the Magdeburg couple gave the German swimmers a furious final – and Olympic champion Florian Wellbrock, for whom the European Championships had already ended, cheered in the stands. After his corona infection, he gave up the open water races.
Gose had to fight hard in the final sprint to save a narrow lead over the local hero Simona Quadarella after 4:04.13 minutes in the noise of the 5000 Italian fans and to complete her EM medal set. Märtens took the lead after 150 m and never gave it up. With 100 m to go, the silver medalist over 800 m was even below the world record of Paul Biedermann, at the end the clock stopped at 3:42.50. Olympic fourth-placed Henning Mühlleitner came in third and grabbed the eighth medal for the German swimmers, who won two golds, two silvers and four bronzes.
jumping under pressure
A “flight of sparks” ignited among the jumpers in the midday sun: In the sweltering heat, Punzel and Massenberg jumped to gold after clear words from the national coach. “Of course, the pressure increases from day to day,” admitted Punzel, who came third in the Olympics. “I could already feel it.” 90 minutes later, Christina Wassen followed up with bronze from the tower.
This time the athletes used to success kept their nerves and remained flawless in all jumps. Punzel and Massenberg left the British and Italians behind with 294.69 points, Wassen improved to 314.10 points after a weak prelim, secured third place in front of Pauline Pfeif, who debuted at the European Championships, and said: “I hope the knot has burst now .”
Apparently it was loud and clear the night before at the team meeting after the start without a medal. “We’re in competitive sport, so honesty is part of it,” said national coach Lutz Buschkow: “We really like to celebrate, but we also have to address things critically. We have an open atmosphere – with light sparks flying.”