Gold and silver on water, wheels and foot

German athletes brought home more medals on Wednesday, with the rowing eight claiming gold, Judith Arndt claiming silver in the cycling time trial, Tony Martin taking silver in the men’s event and Kerstin Thiele winning silver in judo.

Gold and silver on water, wheels and foot
Photo: DPA

It was the first Olympic victory for a German rowing eight for 24 years, leading to chaotic scenes as Andreas Kuffner leapt up and down while still in the boat, and team mate Kristof Wilke dissolved into tears, Die Welt newspaper’s website reported on Wednesday.

“That was the hottest race of all time,” said Lukas Müller after he and the team beat Canada and Great Britain for the gold. The eight has not been beaten in the previous 36 races it has contested in the past four years and crowns its two world championship titles with an Olympic gold.

Arndt was only beaten by the US Olympic champion from 2008, Kristin Armstrong. She was about 15 seconds slower than the American on the 29-kilometre course at Hampton Court Palace. Armstrong, 38, immediately announced her retirement. She had a son nearly two years ago, and only returned to the sport for the chance of another Olympic victory.

Martin was 42 seconds behind British Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins – and sandwiched between him and British bronze winner Christopher Froome.

Hannes Aigner took bronze in the canoe slalom in his first Games, beaten by Italian former world champion Daniele Molmenti and the Czech world number five Vavrinec Hradlicek.

Judoka Thiele only lost to French world champion Lucie Decosse in Wednesday afternoon’s final of the women’s under 70 kilos category judo.

DPA/The Local/hc

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Germany’s Interior Minister rules out ‘unthinkable’ bid to host 2036 Olympics

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has ruled out a bid to host the 2036 Olympics, saying in an interview that it would be "unthinkable" on the 100th anniversary of the Nazi-era 1936 Games in Berlin.

Germany's Interior Minister rules out 'unthinkable' bid to host 2036 Olympics
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer. Photo: DPA

Held three years before the outbreak of the Second World War, the 1936 games are widely remembered as a propaganda coup for Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.

In March this year, Berlin's state minister of the interior Andreas Geisel faced heavy criticism after he appeared to suggest Berlin should bid for the 2036 Olympics in an interview with Tagesspiegel newspaper.

However, the 69-year-old Seehofer, whose ministry also holds the sports portfolio, said Germany could not be seen to celebrate the centenary of the Nazi-era Berlin Olympics.

“It would be unthinkable. If we did that, we would bring on an unspeakable international discussion and harm the Olympic idea,” he told Frankfurt-based newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) in an interview published on Monday.

“How would people see it across the world? Germany celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Nazi Olympics? That cannot happen.”

Aside from concerns over associations with the Nazi regime, there is scant public support for hosting the Olympics in Germany.

READ ALSO: Interior Ministry begs for more cash after 'forgetting' landmark reunification celebration

Public referendums, in 2015 and 2013, rejected proposed Olympic bids to host the summer games in Hamburg and a winter edition in Munich respectively.

Seehofer said that he was generally in favour of a German Olympic bid, but voiced concern that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had become too focused on commercial success.

“In the eyes of the public, the IOC has wandered too far from its original idea and into commercialism,” he told the FAZ.

He called on the IOC to “de-commercialise” and said he had “a lot of sympathy” for the German Athletes' Commission, which last year demanded that the IOC share a quarter of its profits with Olympic participants.

By Kit Holden