Rowing world champion Oliver Zeidler failed in the Olympic semifinals.
Encouragement from friends and family
Tokyo - “I think I'll have to deal with the whole thing after the final tomorrow.
At the moment I can only say that I gave everything today and in the end, very unexpectedly, it was not enough. ”The disappointment is huge for Oliver Zeidler.
The 25-year-old rowing world champion from Schwaig will only start in the Olympic B final on Friday morning.
The dream of a medal broke tonight.
In the semifinals he was only fourth.
“Olli has certainly given everything, has thrown everything into the balance - as his strength, all his will.
He really cut everything that was in him, but unfortunately it wasn't enough, ”says his father Heino.
He is also his trainer.
"That was certainly the windiest regatta that Olli has ever participated in."
The two had prepared for difficult conditions in the countless training units in the years before.
“Unfortunately, the conditions were now so blatant that the races could have been rescheduled,” says Heino Zeidler.
Especially since there had been "crazy results" the day before.
“One boat, the Norwegians' double scull, even capsized,” reports Heino Zeidler.
But it didn't help.
His son got into the boat, had the highest number of strokes at the start - and was already behind the strong Greek Stefanos Ntouskos.
For a long time it seemed as if the man from Schwaiger would fight a duel for second place with Sverri Nielsen.
But in the end it wasn't a fight against the Danes, but against wind and waves.
“Olli hasn't been in business that long.
He's only been rowing for five years.
With the conditions he couldn't get what he can do in the water.
Others who have been doing this for ten or 20 years have a completely different experience, ”explains Heino Zeidler.
Still, everything seemed to be going reasonably well.
The victory was gone, but with 500 meters to go, the world champion was almost two seconds ahead of fourth-placed Alexander Vyazovkin.
But then the Russian started to attack.
Oliver Zeidler tried to counter this, but there was nothing more to be done.
He was six tenths short of the final.
The 2.03 meter man slumped completely exhausted.
He had given everything, and yet it was not enough.
His father, by the way a police officer in his main job, who does the coaching position on a voluntary basis: “It's madness.
We have been working towards the Olympics since 2019.
We have subordinated everything to the games.
Olli was the measure of all things all year round this year.
It is of course blatant when you are brought back down to earth by cloud nine. "
Now, as a father, he is asked to rebuild his son. “It will take a week, two, or probably a lot longer,” he says. and already looks ahead. “The good thing is that it only takes three years to go to the next summer games.” In addition, the European Games in Munich are already scheduled for next year. "Now we have to let it all sink in first."
At the moment it is still completely open how it will continue. Heino Zeidler: “We set everything to zero.” There are some decisions to be made. “Do we stay together as an athlete-trainer team? How is the promotion of the German Rowing Association, are we supported? ”In the end, however, it is still far too early to talk about the future. “Olli is still of a good age,” says Heino Zeidler. "He's only 25, the 2016 Olympic champion was already 37 when he was successful."
Oliver Zeidler found consolation immediately from his girlfriend Helen Scholtissek, who had followed the race at home. “We all imagined it differently, of course. But I'm not disappointed at all. It is a huge achievement to even take part in the Olympics. I would have liked it so much for him to reach the final. He did his very best. But we're just humans and not machines. " It will be a long time before her boyfriend can cope with the setback, “but me and his friends will be there for him. And Olli will get through it. "
Nicole Hollaus, Zeidler's physiotherapist, did not want to speak of a "disappointment" either. “That's the wrong word. I'm just so sorry for Olli, who put so much heart and soul into it. ”For them, the Schwaiger remains an exception in competitive sport. In a few years from the first entry into the boat to the top of the world - that is a completely untypical story ”. The end in the semifinals does not in any way reflect the course of the season. “We will all be there for him and take care of him. We just have to give him time because he personally had very different expectations. "
Many rowing colleagues were obviously shocked that the number ice cream in the world fell victim to the stormy conditions. "Several athletes went to him and tried to give him consolation," says Hollaus, who was able to call Oliver Zeidler on the phone a few hours after the race. “Of course he's totally depressed. But he also said that he had never been so close to vomiting as he was at this race. “He really gave everything. Hollaus: "For the reappraisal, it is absolutely important that he cannot blame himself for anything."