The national hockey team travels to Tokyo with Martin Hainer and Martin Zwicker from Berlin. For Hainer, it is the last tournament of a successful career that he wants to crown with another medal.
In 2012 he brought a gold medal with him from London, four years later he traveled from Rio to Berlin with a bronze in his luggage: Martin Hainer can already look to a successful hockey career. It should be abolished after the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The 32-year-old doctor wishes he had more time for work and above all for family, as they say.
Besides Martin Heiner, another Berlin player in the team is Martin Zwicker. The two know each other well, having played together at the Berlin Hockey Club and have played for the national team over the years. A pair with a lot of experience should benefit the team as well.
“Our goal at the Olympic Games is to win a medal,” said 32-year-old Hainer. There are good signs. About three weeks earlier at the European Championships in the Netherlands, the DHB selection had to be accepted after only defeating the hosts in the final. “You can see that we were in a position where we could keep up with the top European countries,” said Hainer confidently. Most recently, the team won all three Test matches in preparation in Valencia, including a narrow victory against Rio Olympic champions Argentina.
In Tokyo, the German team faces a European group with Belgium, Great Britain and the Netherlands. “That means we know the teams very well. Then there are South Africa and Canada. We know what to do.”
But the competition is tough. Hainer sees Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia, Argentina and the British as the most fierce competitors for the medal. “You have to say that the quarter-finals are definitely needed.” Four teams from two groups of six advance to the round of the last eight. “Then you will have a difficult quarter-final,” suspects the 32-year-old.
Situations can also be difficult. “Two years ago we were already in Tokyo for tests, there we were, 40 degrees and 80 or 90 percent humidity. It was huge. We sometimes play at 12:30 in the afternoon. Those are the things you need to do You have to fight,” says the veteran national player. The team will fly to Tokyo on July 16 and then have about a week to deal with the Mission Medal.