Tokyo / Leipzig. The first German gold medal at this year’s Paralympics goes to Leipzig! SC DHfK’s Martin Schulz repeated his show from Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night and was crowned Paralympic triathlon winner again, five years after his victory in Copacabana.
“After struggling a lot with jet lag in the first few days in Tokyo, I felt really good today even before the competition. After all it was another big race in which everything worked out for me,” said Schultz, PlayThe buzzer arrived on Sunday morning. “I was able to keep my word in the competition and control it to some degree. Of course it was incredibly tough, but when it comes to sleeping you work your way into it. And it was a lot of fun, especially Ever since I realized at some point that would be enough. Now I’m enjoying the media marathon.”
In Tokyo, the Oschatzer native won a world-class performance after swimming 750 meters, cycling 20 kilometers and running 5 kilometers. The 31-year-old was greeted by his German teammates with chants of “Martin, Martin”. In the last few metres, Saxon sent a kiss to the audience, crossing the finish line after 58:10 minutes and was 45 seconds ahead of British Peasgood and 1:12 on Canadian Daniels.
Both opponents had already defeated Leipziger in the previous months and years. Germany jumped from 40th to 24th in the medal tally in no time, thanks to Martin Schulz’s gold medal. “Last evening in the room my instructor and I realized that we were lucky we were the first,” said the person from Leipzig. “It was he who pushed me to the last kilometer again. I am very happy and hope that this will give a boost to the team and we can still make our place in the medal tally.”
Martin Schulz, who had been missing a forearm since his birth, predicted an exciting race—and that’s exactly what should happen. Britt Peasgood showed her strength while swimming with her leg disabled, after all, she could provide propulsion with two healthy arms. The Englishman managed to hold a nearly one-minute lead over a Brazilian, who was quicker than expected, and Martin Schulz.
On the first of four bike laps, Leipziger initially applied a lot of pressure and narrowed the gap to 34 seconds. But the Englishman moved up a gear so that the difference remained the same from then on and again increased to 47 seconds while switching on the run. Important to Martin Schulz: He had already made up such a shortfall. And Canadian world champion Stephen Daniels, who had been so strong in the race, slipped into his running shoe 2:20 minutes behind the leader – the danger from behind was still there for the Saxons.
This happened after walking 5 kilometers out of 2.5: Martin Schulz caught George Pacegood and immediately led his attack. Meanwhile it was 29 degrees hot, but Martin Schulz had long prepared for the heat in heated tents in Kinbaum and Leipzig. He also had seven days before the race to adapt to conditions in Japan. In addition, he had on-site heating with a cooling vest on the bike, so that energy was not wasted while running. Professional preparation paid off – coupled with his great fighting spirit. That night, his Leipzig swimming instructor Jackie Heiner said: “Martin is and will be a great role model for our youth.”
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