On the last day of the World Championships in Athletics, long jumper Malaika Mihambo improved the German record with her gold medal, but she couldn’t save it. Germany has never been as bad as this time in the history of the World Cup.
The German Athletics Association (DLV) had sent 80 athletes to the title fights in Eugene, “40 to 45 percent” could not have called up their performance, explained head trainer Anette Stein.
Although that is phrased very benevolently, because overall the German starters only made it into a final battle of the top eight seven times. In the medal table (one gold, one bronze) it was 14th place – just behind Uganda, which, however, had only sent 17 starters to the United States.
The German contingent consisted – unfortunately, it has to be said so harshly – mainly of World Cup tourists. Stein even indirectly admitted this during the World Championships when she said that such an event is also a reward for athletes “who love what they do”.
Also to be criticized is the very early focus on the home European Championship in August in Munich as the actual highlight of the season. There can’t be a better alibi. Of course, a continental championship in your own country offers more opportunities and also guarantees more attention than the World Cup now in the night hours German time. But those who ultimately presented themselves as devastatingly as they are now in Eugene should perhaps have stayed at home.
Of course, there were cancellations, injuries and Corona. But that affects many nations, spread over a large event. And one can certainly also point out that no other European nation has managed to have more than one world champion in the USA. What doesn’t make your own debacle any better, at most puts it into perspective a bit.
“We wanted a kick for the European Championships at the World Cup,” said DLV boss Jürgen Kessing – and finally had to admit: “Only if you show good performance does you whet your appetite for more.” But that should appeal to many athletics fans in Germany must first have passed thoroughly.
At the EM, reparations must now be made. But no matter what the balance sheet in Munich looks like at the end: Eugene’s disappointing performance cannot and must not be forgotten.