Oliver Zeidler celebrates his rowing gold in the one
MARTIN DIVISEK v EPA
Oliver Zeidler gave the German Rowing Association the hoped-for gold at the end of a historically weak Rowing World Championship.
In the one-final of the title fights in Racice (Czech Republic) on Sunday, the 2019 world champion relegated the favored European champion Melvin Twellaar from the Netherlands and the British Graeme Thomas to second and third place.
In contrast to the disappointing fourth place at the home European Championships in Munich six weeks ago, the 26-year-old showed stamina in the final sprint and saved a lead of a narrow boat length to the finish.
However, Zeidler's courageous appearance cannot hide the major problems of the DRV.
Except for the singles and the women's double sculls, which finished sixth on Sunday, the world's largest rowing association was not represented in any of the 14 finals in the Olympic classes.
There has never been such a weak overall record since the World Cup was introduced in 1962.
That should intensify the already emotional reform debate between DRV leadership and athletes.
Even Germany's eighth team, which has been successful for years, missed the final for the first time since Beijing 2008, but still won the B final ahead of China on the last day of the World Cup.
Like the eighth, one-man driver Alexandra Föster (Meschede) finished the regatta in seventh place as the winner of the B final.