Is Germany reloading?

Athletics Weekly

Mighty Germany poised to rumble again

LIKE Britain, Germany has struggled to win medals at major championships in recent years. The former powerhouse of world athletics has not won an Olympic gold in track and field since Sydney 2000, for example, and claimed only one medal in Beijing last year courtesy of Christina Obergfoll in the javelin.

In comparison, at the 1992 Olympics the Germans won four golds and 10 medals altogether. In 1996 they won three golds and seven medals in total.

Recent editions of the IAAF World Championships have also produced slim pickings for the Germans, which means the host nation for this month’s big event in Berlin is set to endure a rather nervous few days when the action kicks off on August 15.

The main medal hopes are Irina Mikitenko, who has won the London Marathon for the past two years, Obergfoll and high jumper Ariane Friedrich.

Maybe the fortunes of Germany are about to change, though. Whereas GB juniors did well at the recent European Under-20 Championships to win three golds and 15 medals in total, the Germans enjoyed spectacular success – topping the medals table with 25 medals, including 10 golds.

Is the sleeping giant of world athletics waking up from its slumber? We shall see – in 2012 and beyond.

BASED on world current world rankings, Britain could win only one medal in Berlin this month. As can be seen on pages 12-13 of this issue, Jessica Ennis is the only Briton who has made an impact at the top of the global lists in 2009.

Personally, I think Phillips Idowu and Christine Ohuruogu will come good in the German capital next week. But the statistics are nevertheless worrying and do not inspire confidence ahead of 2012.

Jason Henderson, Editor

I am surprised on his statement, since based on the following link things have not run smoothly for Ohuruogu this summer: Perhaps he knows something we don’t…