Post a Comment Print Share on Facebook

At Frenzel record - trouble in the German combined camp despite silver

For years, Eric Frenzel was the dominant Nordic combined athlete - and even though those times are over: The 34-year-old made history on the home straight of his career: Together with Johannes Rydzek, Vinzenz Geiger and Julian Schmid he won silver at the title fights in Planica/Slovenia with the team behind Norway – and with it the 18th World Championship medal of his career.

- 9 reads.

At Frenzel record - trouble in the German combined camp despite silver

For years, Eric Frenzel was the dominant Nordic combined athlete - and even though those times are over: The 34-year-old made history on the home straight of his career: Together with Johannes Rydzek, Vinzenz Geiger and Julian Schmid he won silver at the title fights in Planica/Slovenia with the team behind Norway – and with it the 18th World Championship medal of his career. No other athlete in the history of Nordic World Ski Championships has done that before.

Until now, Frenzel was on a par with winter sports legend Björn Dählie in collecting his World Championship medals. The Norwegian cross-country skier won a total of 17 world championship medals between 1991 and 1999, nine of them gold. In terms of the number of titles, he is still ahead: Frenzel collected seven gold medals at world championships. Number eight was almost there in Planica, national coach Hermann Weinbuch angrily spoke of a foul in a decisive scene.

But Frenzel was one thing above all: extremely happy. Passing Dählie was a great motivation for him. In the WELT interview he said at the beginning of the season: "My incentive is to get this one more medal and thus to trump Björn Dählie. But I don't stress about it - it would be a bonus. Dahlie has been a big idol for me since childhood. Of course you have to say that with nine world titles he has two more than me.”

Frenzel and his teammates Rydzek, Geiger and Schmid started the decisive 4x5 kilometer cross-country race on Wednesday afternoon after jumping off the large hill in third place. They were 23 seconds behind the leading Norwegians around the outstanding Jarl Magnus Riiber. Austria started just three seconds ahead of the team coached by Hermann Weinbuch.

"Maybe we can work together with Austria so that we can catch up there again," Geiger hoped before the start. “All four of us are in good spirits and really want to. We want to attack gold if it's possible.” And Frenzel, as the starting runner, did a great job, fighting his way up to the Norwegian step by step and even taking the lead. “The race was inspiring. I could get into a flow," he said. "We also had incredibly good material."

Geiger also ran well, but couldn't shake off the Norwegian as hoped before Rydzek had to hold his own against the extremely fast Jörgen Graabak. Behind them, the French caught up with the Austrians - and surprisingly came closer and closer to the two leaders as a duo. But it was still 21 seconds ahead with which the leading duo started the last lap. For Germany: Julian Schmid, already decorated twice with silver in Planica.

And then it happened: The duo became a trio with Austria, but Schmid and Riiber finally decided the victory among themselves, gold was within reach for the Germans. Then this scene: Schmid wants to pass Riiber on the inside, but the Norwegian closes the path, the skis touch, Schmid stumbles briefly and gets a little out of step. In the end, the Norwegians won, Germany celebrated silver ahead of Austria.

National coach Herman Weinbuch was upset, announced a protest and said on ARD: "It was on the verge of unsportsmanlike and the decisive scene. He ran over his skis.” Weinbuch saw it as a foul. Schmid himself was disappointed at first about the missed gold opportunity, but saw the matter less dramatically. He didn't say "unsportsmanlike", even Nordic combined legend Ronny Ackermann dismissed it.

What is certain: In the fourth competition of the combined athletes in Planica it is the fourth medal for the German athletes. First, 17-year-old Nathalie Armbruster won silver, then Julian Schmid followed in second, before the mixed team - without Frenzel - also won silver at the World Championships.

For Eric Frenzel, these are special world championships. Because he had already considered whether he would end his career after a successful winter games in Beijing. After all, he had won everything: the overall World Cup five times, seven Olympic medals, three of them gold, and numerous world championship titles and medals. He was also allowed to lead the German delegation at the opening ceremony as the flag bearer at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. An exceptional athlete. And one that the young German combined athletes always call a role model.

A family man too. Frenzel and his wife Laura have three children, the youngest is five years old: daughter Emma. "She has noticed the least of my sporting career, has started to realize it since I was struggling," says Frenzel and wanted to cheer for her again at a major event.

Beijing 2022, however, turned into a personal drama for him - from day one: Because immediately after his arrival in China, he was stuck in the quarantine hotel due to a corona infection, initially under questionable conditions. A desperate race against time began. Frenzel was only allowed out on the tenth day, after he somehow tried to keep fit in his room, to keep his courage and not to go mentally crazy.

Almost immediately after the end of the quarantine - and after a health and stress check - he finally managed to start at the Olympics: as a team. At the finish, he collapsed exhausted and only later realized that the team had won silver. His personal happy ending.

Still, he didn't want to stop. “The Olympic Games in Beijing just didn't go as smoothly as we had hoped. Not so that you can say afterwards: 'I'll stop that now'," said Frenzel. And meant on the one hand his corona quarantine drama, but also the fact that no spectators were allowed due to the pandemic. "A major event where nobody is there, without euphoria or that special thing that I had experienced at many major events before - I didn't want to stop with that," he told WELT.

He was hoping for Planica and has now paid off.

Avatar
Your Name
Post a Comment
Characters Left:
Your comment has been forwarded to the administrator for approval.×
Warning! Will constitute a criminal offense, illegal, threatening, offensive, insulting and swearing, derogatory, defamatory, vulgar, pornographic, indecent, personality rights, damaging or similar nature in the nature of all kinds of financial content, legal, criminal and administrative responsibility for the content of the sender member / members are belong.