Friedelm Julius Beucher, president of the Association of Germany, drew a positive conclusion from the first competition weekend at the Winter Paralympics in Beijing.
“We were very pleased to start the first day with four medals,” Beucher said. “The start is perfectly fine,” explained Chef de Mission Carl Quaid: “It’s a shame that we haven’t managed to take first place yet. But it’s settled in the end.”
In all, the German Disabled Sports Federation won five medals, four silver and one bronze in the opening weekend. Because gold is missing, Germany is only twelfth in the medal tally. However, in terms of number of podiums, only China (16), Ukraine (7) and Canada (6) were more successful.
Young biathletes were particularly surprised with three medals on Saturday. The fact that this was also helped by the absence of excommunicated Russians does not make Beucher’s success any less valuable. “Whether injured or not allowed, the competition is between those who are at the start,” he added: “And the absence of the Russians is not unreasonable and it is not through their own fault.” Quaid also explained: “Yes, that opens up new possibilities. But it goes for everyone.”
The fact that gold hope Anna-Lena Forster has won silver twice so far isn’t considered a disappointment to either of them. “Those were two strong performances. She plays her role as the favorite perfectly,” said Beaucher: “It could have been gold both times. And there is hope.” For Quad, “two second places are an excellent result. And his special discipline is yet to come.”
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