Saturday, September 4th 2021
“Everything was forgotten”
German goosebumps, German world record
At the Paralympics, German female athletes provide exceptional moments. And not just because of their triumphs in the water and on the track. Canoeist Edina Müller defies the organization, Lindy Ave the conditions. The reward for both: gold!
It was perhaps the greatest German goosebumps moment at the Paralympics in Tokyo: When Edina Müller got a winning kiss from her son Liam while on the boat, all the troubles and anger of the past months were futile. “Everything else was forgotten,” said the Hamburg native, who, nine years after winning gold in wheelchair basketball, this time triumphed in a canoe. For months, the 38-year-old had to fight to even be allowed to take the two-year-old with her to Japan as a nursing mother. Because he did not get an accreditation for the village, Müller lived with him and her partner in the hotel and had to commute all the time. But for the finale on Saturday, the son was on the track, cheering on father Niko’s shoulders as he crossed the finish line.
Lindy Ave also provided a German highlight in the evening. The 23-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy, won over 400 meters in the pouring rain with a world record time of exactly 1: 00.00 minutes. “You are used to rainy weather if you live by the Baltic Sea,” said the Greifswald woman with a laugh: “I would never have thought in my life that I could run a world record. Especially not at the Paralympics.” In preparation, she had considered giving up the stadium round.
“Edina puts away everything outside”
“In three years in Paris, Liam will probably be standing next to me with a flag and we will cheer his mother together,” said Friedhelm Julius Beucher, President of the German Disabled Sports Association. Müller was “an exceptional athlete with a tremendous discipline,” he praised: “Changing the sport and getting gold, only exceptional athletes can do that.” Before that, Annika Zeyen, Müller’s team colleague in 2012, had succeeded with the handbike.
The special circumstances surrounding her son make Müller’s triumph even more extraordinary. “Edina puts away everything outside,” said Beucher. It goes without saying for him that the child and the partner are there in Japan. But if something is different, people first have to learn to deal with the situation. But Edina has asserted herself here just as persistently as she does in sport. And it led to a wonderful ending. ”
Her exercise bike, Arne Bandholz, thought so too, who jumped into the water after the triumph. “It had to be easy. But it was nice and warm,” he said drenched. “Everything could have gone better,” said Müller about the processes: “But the most important thing is that we are together and that I have the gold medal in my hand.” But the organizational problems did not end with the triumph. While team-mate Felicia Laberer announced after her bronze run that “it would be a good day today”, Müller found it “a bit difficult. The little one is not allowed to go into the village. We have to find some place where we can all get together.” . ” Nevertheless, “in the end, she had the feeling that she did everything right,” said Müller: “There were doubters and some who didn’t believe in me and us. Now to be there with the gold medal is amazing.”
“I am speechless and shocked”
The final coronation did not take place. “I would like that,” replied Müller when asked whether she would like to be the flag bearer at the closing ceremony. However, the association had already made the decision for Natascha Hiltrop. The 29-year-old had won the first gold for sport shooters since Athens 2004, plus silver, she could get gold again on Sunday.
Meanwhile, her team-mate Tim Focken failed in qualifying. The Afghanistan veteran, who was the first German war-disabled soldier to take part in the Paralympics, came 14th in the qualification on Saturday with a free rifle over 50 meters. Focken started the competition with a flu. 100 meter winner Felix Streng was hit even harder despite the silver medal over 200 meters. “I’m speechless and shocked. When I was warming up, I was drawn into an adductor. I couldn’t even put my shoes on in the call room,” said Streng. That it ran at all was probably “due to the adrenaline”.