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Olympic targets revealed – and missed by a mile

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Photo: DPA
17:17 CEST+02:00
The German Interior Ministry has admitted that Germany has missed its medal targets for the Olympic Games in London by a long way, after finally releasing the sports federations' aims following an unseemly legal fight.

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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The Local/bk

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