The Olympics are still a success: German gymnasts crash after flying high

Olympia is still a success
German gymnasts crash after flying high

In the qualification, the German gymnasts exceeded expectations, but the all-around team could not build on that in the final. The quartet make numerous mistakes, which should nevertheless feel a certain satisfaction.

The emotional high of the qualification was followed by the emotional low in the final: The German gymnasts made an appearance riddled with blunders and blunders in the all-around decision of the Olympic Games in Tokyo and finished eighth and last as a team. Two days after the almost flawless team performance, Lukas Dauser, Andreas Toba, Nils Dunkel and Philipp Herder only got 238.495 points, more than eleven points less. The squad of the German Gymnastics Federation (DTB) could at no time build on the strong performance of the elimination with sixth place. The quartet clearly missed the possible best Olympic result after fourth place in 2008 in Beijing. Five years ago in Rio de Janeiro and 2012 in London, the DTB squad was in seventh place.

The top three nations did gymnastics in a different league. The team of the Russian Olympic Committee became the Olympic champion after a thrilling three-way battle. The ranks of world and European champion Nikita Nagorni with 262,500 points relegated their predecessor Japan (262,397) to second place. China secured bronze with 261.894 points.

After a mixed start on the rings with around half a point less than in the qualification, the German gymnasts improved their vaults and caught up a bit. But then the squad suffered a drop out on what is actually the most powerful device. Nils Dunkel had to go off the bars after a mistake, and Dauser, who was third in the European Championship, did valuable tenths less than two days earlier. Only Herder improved compared to the qualification, but could not make up for the deficit. After three out of six devices, the DTB team was in seventh place.

Even the qualification is a success

Not everything went smoothly on the next horizontal bar either. Andreas Toba, who had been runner-up in the European Championship on this machine three months earlier in Basel, lost almost 1.5 points compared to the preliminary competition because he couldn’t get too many elements cleanly enough. After that, the air seemed to be out. Philipp Herder fell on his buttocks on the ground, stepped off the podium with a shake of his head and was punished with a sharp deduction of points. The same fate subsequently befell Dauser and Toba.

At the home world championships in Stuttgart in 2019, the DTB squad qualified for the Tokyo Games as the twelfth and final team. Accordingly, Dauser and his colleagues were already excited after the preliminary battle with 249.929 points last Saturday. “Unbelievable! When you think about it, almost two years ago we just made it to the Olympic Games as a team with twelfth place. Now we are sixth, that’s really really strong,” said the German all-around champion in Emotional High.

While the games in Tokyo are over for Toba and Dunkel, Dauser and Herder will be back on stage on Wednesday. The Unterhachinger as 16th in the elimination and the Berliner as 21st do the individual finals in the all-around. In addition, after finishing second in the qualification on Sunday, Dauser, who was third in the European Championship, went to his special bar with medal hopes.