Nils Schumann is back – though not at his best. His presence was still
enough to enthuse about 2000 spectators before the start of the Teag Indoor
meeting in Schumann’s hometown Erfurt. The Olympic Champions was
celebrated during a lap of honour with pictures of his Sydney race on the
screen. It was his first race in this meeting after his Olympic gold. But at
the end there was not much to celebrate for Nils Schumann, who finished a
disappointing sixth in the 1000 m race. The 23-year-old clocked 2:21,20 minutes
in what was thought to be the local highlight at the end of the meeting.
Additionally the race was won by national rival Wolfram Müller in 2:19,90
minutes. Müller is from Prina and belongs to a rival training group.
“I caught a bronchitis by the middle of December and lost three weeks
of training”, Schumann explained. “I am don’t feel fully fit
yet, but still I am very disappointed with my race. I am even more disappointed
to have let down the spectators”, Schumann said after his season’s
debut. He did not feel comfortable during the race “It was to slow, so
there was a big group running together. And I felt being obstructed.”
Immediately after the race Schumann was so disappointed that he had a harsh
argument with Franek Haschke, a runner from Müller’s group by whom
he felt obstructed. He even pushed Haschke away. “I am sorry for this. It
was simply because I was so disappointed with my performance. I
apologised.” Schumann will now have a word with his coach Dieter Hermann
about the next races, but still plans to stick to his plan. He intends to run
in Stuttgart on Sunday and wants to run in the national and European
Championships. “But for Vienna I will of course need a much better form
Another Olympic Champion from Germany had a bad start into the season. Due
to various health problems Heike Drechsler could not train properly. So she
finished only fourth in a moderate long jump competition. With 6,23 m Drechsler
was 0,45 m short of the winner, Ludmila Galkina (Russia). And there could be
even more blows for the German team for Vienna. In the pole vault Michael
Stolle could not have a single attempt because of a foot injury. Still Tim
Lobinger did well and shared the win with Russlan Yeremenko (Russia). Both
cleared 5,80 m in their second attempts.
Grit Breuer feels uncomfortable because of shingles. “The doctor left
it up to me whether to run or not. As I have no pain I ran. And under these
circumstances I can be very happy with the result”, Breuer said. The
European Champion from Budapest 1998 was the only women to run sub 52 seconds
in the 400 m (51,71). But as Breuer does not feel fully fit it is very doubtful
that she will continue her season until Vienna.
While the Germans are suffering, for Austria things look bright. The
Championships in Vienna only one month away, Austria has a new medal prospect.
Elmar Lichtenegger won the 60 m hurdles in Erfurt in a new personal best of
7,51 seconds. Colin Jackson (7,58) this time had no chance of winning, while at
least Germany’s Mike Fenner proved that he is well on the way back to his
best form. Running close to Jackson to third place in 7,61 he beat the German
qualifying time for Vienna. And there might be another Austrian with a chance
in Vienna: Karin Mayr came in third in the 60 m race, clocking 7,16. Chioma
Ajunwa (Nigeria) won the event in 7,13. The men’s sprint winner was
Gennadiy Chernovol (Kazachstan) with 6,57. And running from the front British
400 m runner Daniel Caines produced a good 46,68.
Despite of his bad run there was a reason why Nils Schumann was more than
welcome in Erfurt this year. At the end of last year’s season he had
decided to turn back the clock. After his Olympic triumph he had changed his
club and because of this had to change his coach as well. So his father Peter
took over for last season. Having run for LG Nike Berlin for one year, he now
opened his season, wearing the vest of his old club again: SV Creaton
Großengottern, which is near Erfurt. “I am happy that after
Edmonton I could start to work with Dieter Hermann again”, Nils Schumann
said. It was a reason for the 800-m-runner to join Hermann’s club in
Results: 60 m: 1. Gennadiy Chernovol KAZ 6,57, 2. Freddy Mayola CUB 6,64, 3.
Darvis Patton USA 6,69. 200 m: 1. Marcin Urbas POL 21,09, 2. Steffen Otto GER
21,19, 3. Mathias Mertens GER 21,74 400 m (A and B race): 1. Daniel Caines GBR
46,68, 2. Bastian Swillims GER 46,70, 3. Lars Figura GER 47,75. 1000 m: 1.
Wolfram Müller GER 2:19,90, 2. Glody Dube BOT 2:20,25, 3. Arnoud Okken NED
2:20,31, 6. Nils Schumann GER 2:21,20. 3000 m: 1. Mario Kröckert GER
7:57,58, 2. Christian Knoblich GER 8:04,98, 3. Michael May GER 8:05,50. 60 m h:
1. Elmar Lichtenegger AUT 7,51, 2. Colin Jackson GBR 7,58, 3. Mike Fenner GER
7,61. LJ: 1. Younés Moudrik MAR 8,02, 2. Kenta Bell USA 7,94, 3.
Schahriar Bigdeli GER 7,88. PV: 1. Russlan Yeremenko UKR 5,80 and Tim Lobinger
GER 5,80, 3. Lars Börgeling GER 5,70. SP: 1. Milan Haborak SVK 20,22, 2.
Kevin Toth USA 19,32, 3. Detlef Bock GER 19,28.
Women: 60 m: 1. Chioma Ajunwa NGR 7,13, 2. Kelli White USA 7,14, 3. Karin
Mayr AUT 7,16. 400 m (A and B Race): 1. Grit Breuer GER 51,71, 2. Claudia Marx
GER 52,47, 3. Sandie Richards JAM 52,91. 800 m: 1. Renata Hoppova CZE 2:04,21,
2. Anja Knippel GER 2:04,49, 3. Tatyana Rodionova RUS 2:04,68. 60 m h : 1.
Lacena Golding-Clarke JAM 7,91, 2. Yahumara Neyra CUB 8,05, 3. Kimberley Carson
USA 8,08. LJ: 1. Ludmila Galkina RUS 6,68, 2. Y. Shekhovtsova UKR 6,48, 3.
Chioma Ajunwa NGR 6,42, 4. Heike Drechsler GER 6,23.