Big upheaval in Germany Eight: After six athletes are no longer available, new captain takes charge of team captain Jonas Wiesen of Treis-Karden.
With just three silver medalists from Tokyo and a hugely rejuvenated one, the German rower begins its first season after the Olympics. National coach Ue Bender introduced the youngest eight-man squad since 2002 at Thursday’s presentation in Dortmund. New on board: Helmsman Jonas Wiesen of Treis-Karden Rowing Company.
Jonas Wiesen: From rower to helmsman
Of course, the 25-year-old Wiesen also rowed early in his career. However, it soon became clear to him that the position of helmsman was right up his alley. With a weight of only 55 kilograms and a height of 1.70 meters, he has very good qualifications for the job. “The helmsman should weigh at least 55kg, so I have to watch my weight a bit, but you can handle that,” Wesen says with a laugh. With his eight youths, the U23 team, he quickly celebrated huge success, including becoming the U23 World Champion in 2015.
Numerous successes in the junior division
He can already show some success in Division A as a co-helper in a double. Now the Business Informatics student has a chance to prove his skills at the leading in the German Rowing Federation (DRV). “The Germany Eight has a very special story. Each of us wants to be among the eight, and that’s something bigger than you,” says Wiesen, describing how important the nomination was to him. The national coach is convinced he will do a good job: “Jonas is very enthusiastic, very smart and very committed,” he praised him.
In addition to Wiesen, there’s another new Southwest athlete on board: 21-year-old Jasper Engel made his first rowing stroke at Neptune Konstanz. Also new are batsman Matthijs Schönheuer (22), Wolf-Niklas Schroeder (25), Benedict Eggling (23) and Julian Garth (20). Olympic silver medalists Turbine Johansen, Laurits Vollert and Olaf Rogensack will retain their places on the DRV.
Without Richard Schmidt from Trier
Longtime captain Martin Sauer and London Olympic champion Richard Schmidt of Trier as well as Multi Jacquesque and Jacob Schneider ended their careers after Tokyo. Former batsman Hannes Ocik turned cranial, and Johannes Weissenfeld took a year off due to his studies. In addition to the silver medal in Tokyo, the team, spoiled by success, won three world titles and four European gold medals at the last Olympics. The last time there was such a major disruption this year was in 2009, also with six changes compared to the previous year.
The first test of the World Cup
The World Cup in Poznan (Poland) from 17-19 June will be the first test for the new eight-man crew. After the World Cup in Lucerne (8-10 July) and the European Championships in Munich (11-13 August), the World Championships in Ratches (Czech Republic) is on the agenda from 18-25 September.
Bender describes his crew: “Updates like this present a great opportunity. We have highly motivated young people.” The coach hopes that the new eight will live up to high expectations: “We have come from a string of successes that are almost unique in the sport. Of course, the youngsters want to continue this streak.” Wiesen also set himself high goals. His dream: to be at the helm of the Olympic Games. His wishes for the first year in the eight are more modest: “We have to grow together as a team and become a strong team again,” hopes Wesen. As the new helmsman, he would definitely make his contribution.