Friday, September 03, 2021
“Not the next Pistorius”
German blade runner climbs Olympus
At 16, Johannes Floors had had enough of the pain – and had both lower legs amputated. Ten years later, the athlete has won all the major titles and is on a par with Oscar Pistorius. However, it has fallen deeply. And not a role model for floors either.
After his impressive gold show on two prostheses, Blade Runner Johannes Floors jumped into the arms of his club colleague Irmgard Bensusan beaming with joy and cheering. World record holder, world champion, European champion – and now to top it off, Paralympic winner over the 400 meters: The 26-year-old has long since catapulted himself to a sporting level with the former and now deeply fallen para-star Oscar Pistorius.
“Now it’s my era. I could cry, I could scream it out. It’s just a great moment,” said Floors after his Paralympics record in the T62 starting class in 45.85 seconds full of emotions with the Germany flag around his shoulders . But the pressure was huge, he admitted with a laugh: “I shit in my pants.”
Floors withstood the immense expectations. “A tenth past the world record. I still have potential, that’s great too,” he emphasized. Potential and, above all, great goals. The 45.07 seconds of Pistorius, which the South African, who was sentenced to a 15-year prison term for murder, ran with longer prostheses, was his “personal brand that is floating around in my head. I want to hit it,” emphasized Floors won the third Paralympics medal of his career after the relay gold from Rio and third place in the 100 meters in Tokyo.
Make up for what was not possible for a long time
Ten years ago, however, there was little to suggest such a steep career. The Bayer Leverkusen athlete was in severe pain due to a congenital fibular gene defect. At the age of 16, Floors, who was born in Bissendorf near Osnabrück, decided after six months to amputate both lower legs.
“It was the best decision of my life. I made it because I didn’t want to have any more pain and not necessarily a wheelchair-supported life. That is exactly the case. Everything else that has been added to the sport is just the icing on the cake.” said double world champion Floors before the Paralympics.
He is now “catching up on what I never could”. Sprint at the highest level. But he was, he had made it clear before the competitions, “not the next Oscar Pistorius. I’m Johannes Floors and I go my own way.” The road to success!
Irmgard Bensus is also concerned with that. After silver in the 200 meters, the 30-year-old also finished second in the 100 meters behind Marlene van Gansewinkel from the Netherlands. It was the fifth silver medal in the fifth Paralympics final. Nevertheless it is “a silver medal won every time. I can be really proud,” said “Aunt Irmie” Bensusan and called himself “Silver Aunt” with a laugh. Ali Lacin completed the medal set of the German athletes with bronze over 200 meters.
Hiltrop is now bringing silver after gold
Things didn’t go quite as well for the cyclists at the Fuji Speedway at the end of the race. In addition to the 12 medals – gold from Annika Zeyen and twice from Jana Majunke, four times silver and five times bronze – no further precious metal was added on Friday. The German cycling team had won gold eight times in Rio. Tokyo’s record is the worst since Athens in 2004.
But it went again for sports shooter Natascha Hiltrop, who narrowly missed her second gold medal in Tokyo. The winner with the air rifle made a mistake in the three-position battle with the small caliber in the last shot and slipped to second place. “The last shot could have gone better. But I’m completely satisfied,” said Hiltrop.
With the swimmers, Verena Schott provided the highlight of the day. The 33-year-old won her third bronze medal over 100 meters back in Tokyo. “I posted and just saw three names. Then I hoped that one of them would be mine,” said Schott, with only one wish. She wanted to go home to her two children, “I’m pretty exhausted.”