Swimming EM in Rome. Tough start for DSV athletes. – Sports

The European Swimming Championships in Rome sent their first athletes into the water this Thursday, and Isabel Gose immediately established her medal ambitions in the 800m freestyle. The 20-year-old, who trained with Florian Wellbrock in Magdeburg and unfortunately missed out on the podium at the world championships in Budapest, was second fastest in Friday’s final. National coach Bernd Berchan must be pleased with this start, as before the European Championships he was also impressed with the swimming complex built in Rome’s Foro Italico for the 1960 Olympics and the enthusiasm for the sport in Italy.

After all, it is good news, of which there was not much from the point of view of the German swimming association after a successful world championship. A number of swimmers, such as Olympic champion and world champion Wellbrock or World Cup runner-up Lucas Martens, were infected with the coronavirus in Budapest or after, and there was no question of a good preparation for the European Championships. This is one of the reasons Wellbrock has already canceled his start in the 800m freestyle, and it is questionable whether he will even compete in Rome. “The agreement is that based on the situation, we always decide which distances he swims and leaves or not,” said Berkhan before the start of the European Championship. Others, such as World Cup silver medalist Anna Elendt, Rafael Miroslav (both studying in the US) and Joshua Salchow (semester abroad in Australia), are absent anyway.

Berkhan actually wanted to go to Rome with a big team and do a lot of rehearsals, also with a view to participating in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. This program has passed. In any case, the European Championship is less than two months away from the much more important World Championship, which is rather deviated from the competition calendar. Especially, Berkhan says about DOSB’s promotion of sports. “As with athletics, our focus is on the World Cup, that’s the championship by which the association is judged this year, the European Championships no longer play a big role in this. context”.

“We would love to swim here,” says Paul Bristow, co-founder of the European Championships

And then there is the history of the European Championship. swimming was to be part of the multi-EM, the Olympic pool in Munich, the scene of Mark Spitz’s success in 1972, seemed like the perfect place for it. But then the European Swimming Association reportedly insisted on the ten routes it needed to host a major international event. However, the recently renovated indoor pool at the Olympic Park offers only eight lanes and cannot be expanded due to monument preservation and costs. “We think it is very unfortunate that there is no swimming in Munich. But we are happy that public television is broadcasting this time,” said Berkhan. Because swimming is very well embedded in the media coverage of the European Championships.

And maybe the main Olympic sport will soon be part of the European multisport championships again, as it did during the premieres in Glasgow and Berlin in 2018. In any case, Paul Bristow, one of the founders of the European Championship, told the German press agency. “We would like to swim here, and maybe in the future swimming will come back.” But by then it would be too late for Munich.

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