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2012 LONDON OLYMPICS

LONDON

Olympic targets revealed – and missed by a mile

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.

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

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.

The Local/bk

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OLYMPICS

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

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