Rowing national coach Bielig criticized one world champion Zeidler

Ruder national coach Brigitte Bielig has sharply criticized one world champion Oliver Zeidler because of his all-round attack against the association. She “actually also had individual discussions”, but she “never heard anything from him about structural problems or personnel consequences,” Bielig told the Sächsische Zeitung: “I have to say, that was the bottom drawer.”

Zeidler had publicly massively criticized the German Rowing Association (DRV) for the disappointing European Championships at home and emphasized before the World Cup last week that he had “already addressed his criticism internally several times”. At the World Cup in Racice, Czech Republic, which was historically weak for the DRV the 26-year-old won gold, the only German medal in the Olympic boat classes.

Long-term construction until 2028

“We have initiated so many new things that it also takes time to take effect, which many do not see,” said Bielig, who welcomes the involvement of a consulting agency to solve the problem. The 64-year-old from Dresden took up the post in October 2021 and was promoted from the U23. She underestimated the complexity outside of the sporting area: “I didn’t know that there was so much politics involved. Every club thinks they have a say, knows better and has to tell us how it all works. I like to listen, but that goes beyond borders.”

According to Bielig, the association needs time to catch up with the world leaders again. For the Summer Games in Paris 2024, the goal is not “that we can improve the result of the Olympics,” said Bielig: “If we can achieve the two medals from Tokyo 2021 again, we would have achieved our goal. Our long-term development goes until 2028.”

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