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2012 London Olympics
Olympic targets revealed – and missed by a mile
Photo: DPA

Olympic targets revealed – and missed by a mile

Published: 10 Aug 2012 17:17 GMT+02:00
Updated: 10 Aug 2012 17:17 GMT+02:00

With just over two days to go, German athletes have won 38 medals - not a bad score considering the German team won only three more than that in Beijing four years ago.

But the target was to win 86 medals, including 28 golds, the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) finally admitted after a six-week legal wrangle.

The documents released on Friday afternoon show that only the targets for the table tennis, canoeing and kayaking disciplines were met - out of 23 targets.

Germany's table tennis team won two bronze medals - an individual one for Dimitrij Ovtcharov and another for the team, while the canoe and kayaking team met their target of nine medals with one day of competition to go.

But the Germans fell short of their own expectations in all other disciplines. The track and field team, for example, was aiming to win eight medals - so far it has only won five. And the swimmers were meant to bag eight medals - and came home with none at all from the pool. But Thomas Lurz won silver on Friday in the 10-kilometre open water swim.

The targets were only released after journalists at the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper group sent several requests to both the interior ministry and the DOSB. In early July, they launched a lawsuit at the administrative court, which upheld their case, and ruled that the ministry would have to pay a fine of €10,000 if it did not release the figures.

On Friday morning, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told state broadcaster ZDF that he had not wanted to release the targets to protect the interests of individual sports federations. But he added, "If we have no effective legal means anymore than we won't pay the fine, we will publish the documents."

German sports federations consider the medal targets sensitive information, because they are used as the basis for the distribution of federal sports funding. The targets are negotiated between the Interior Ministry and the federations every four years, and funds are allocated accordingly.

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Your comments about this article

18:04 August 10, 2012 by lucksi
Sooo, will the funding now be according to reality or according to studies?

The sport organisations will have to pay back the funding now that they have so thouroughly brought shame against the fatherland, right?

And the head honchos of the sports organisations will be sued for breach of contract because their athletes did not deliver the promised medals?

...so many things wrong with that. I did not know that sports funding was distibuted according to who might bring home the most medals (or who lies the most)
20:04 August 10, 2012 by Jerr-Berlin
two days left...only 18 gold medals behind...
23:01 August 10, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
ok so now the Ministry of the Interior is giving out quotas for major sporting events?

Now correct me if I am wrong, but didn't Germany do away with a totalitarian socialist regime on its soil some 20ish years ago, among other things precisely because that regime saw fit to control every aspect of public (and private) life, and considered victorious athletes as indispensible in proving socialism's superiority?

This isn't the Communist Bloc anymore, dear Ministry. And short of rigging the games, you are going to have to accept that there can be no such things at major international sporting events as a medal quota.

Now go back to spying on the German people, you little gremlins... that's another area where you have seen fit in the past 10 years or so to emulate former East Germany.
00:07 August 11, 2012 by Redwing
@issedaftpeople. Hold on, Germany is no different from other western country. What did the British do after their 62th place in the medals table in 1996? They pumped millions and millions into sports, even supporting the children of rich parents who sent their offspring to expensive private schools.

Quite apart from that, as I write, 23:04 BST Germany has a total of 42 medals, 7 more than at Beijing, and they may win another Gold, or at least Silver, in the men's hockey final.
03:27 August 11, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
@Redwing:

yes, I see your point --

but it's one thing to increase public subsidies for sports and athletes, and quite another to set a quota of medals to be met by athletes.

Maybe it's just true Teutonic fashion to set a kind of goal like that, but it's somewhat silly. You can't go into the Olympics expecting and counting on your athletes to win any given amount of medals. It depends on so many different things. And the German Interior Ministry would do well to busy itself with more important things than defining quotas and then being (publicly) disappointed when they aren't met. Sports just doesn't work that way. And if it does, then it's most likely rigged.
08:20 August 11, 2012 by insight101
more proof of the superiority of the aryan race...oh wait, i guess not.
20:10 August 11, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
I agree with you iseedaftpeople. Maybe time the hormones and steroids were re-introduced to the underachieving master-race.
20:15 August 11, 2012 by NEUEVILLA
To correct Redwing's statement : Britian was 36th in1996 in Atlanta with one gold, 8 silver and 6 bronze.
10:53 August 13, 2012 by blackboot11
The sentiment of this article is so stereotypical German it is laughable !

For a country that is smaller in area than the state of California, overall 5th or 6th place in teh world is actualy quite remarkable. And you should be proud of the extreme dedication, hours and hard work both the athletes and trainers have exercised here to reap these well earned medals.

Stop complaining and get on with it....
16:22 August 13, 2012 by Berzerker
@blackboot11 - spot on, well said.
18:47 August 13, 2012 by michael valerio
What do you expect, when you have a German Olympic Team made up of Gastarbeiter? Where are the German's?
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