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    German swimmers are “not superheroes”


    World Cup ends disappointingly
    German swimmers are “not superheroes”

    The German open water swimmers are leaving the World Cup without a single medal. The athletes' performances cause disappointment and raise questions, says the national coach. But there are no worries about the Olympics.

    In the end, Leonie Beck was left empty-handed again in the Old Port of Doha. The 26-year-old narrowly missed the podium with the open water relay at the World Championships in Qatar – but she didn't let that unsettle her. “It can sometimes happen that we don't win a medal,” said Beck: “We're not superheroes, we're not robots, we're just people.”

    Just six months after quadruple gold in Japan, the German open water swimmers came away empty-handed at the World Championships for the first time since 2017 – but this year only one thing counts: the Olympics. “We'll carry on and go our way to Paris,” emphasized Beck, who with Celine Rieder, Oliver Klemet and the only 17-year-old Arne Schubert was on course for bronze in the 4×1500 meters until shortly before the end, but then ended up in fourth place .

    “We have questions”

    Beck and Florian Wellbrock, who started the competition in Qatar as double world champions, had previously lost their individual titles over five and ten kilometers. The Olympic champion, who skipped the relay and is already concentrating on the pool competitions, was “not satisfied” after his open water competitions and spoke of “disappointment”. Beck was also anything but happy after her 14th place (5 kilometers) and 20th place (10 kilometers).

    But the German Swimming Association (DSV) does not want to overestimate the title fights, which were pushed between the World Cup in Japan and the Olympic Games due to the corona pandemic. “We are not satisfied and have questions,” explained national coach Constantin Depmeyer: “Are we worried? Anything but that.”

    “We have to see the World Cup in Doha in the overall context,” emphasized Depmeyer: “We have an entire season in mind, the focus is definitely the Olympic Games.” Beck and Klemet, third in the 2023 World Cup, also spoke of a “stopover” in Qatar.

    Things will also be “special” at the Olympics

    But before the big goal there is still a lot of work waiting for the already qualified DSV trio Wellbrock, Beck and Klemet. Wellbrock and Beck had to struggle with the low water temperatures, especially over the longer Olympic distance. The man from Magdeburg missed out on the medals in 29th place at 19.9 degrees, as did Beck in 20th place at 20.2 degrees. Both also swam past the podium in ninth and 14th place over half the distance at 19.4 degrees.

    Wellbrock also explained that “the undulating conditions” might not suit him as well as the others. There will be no waves in the Seine. But according to Depmeyer, Paris will still be “special” because “we have currents, we have a river, we have maybe warm, maybe cold water,” said the national coach. That is still “not immediately clear. We are talking about cold water being introduced into the river because of the poor water quality. That means we don't yet know exactly what we are preparing for.” Depmeyer emphasized that they will definitely work on “cold tolerance”.

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