Water jumpers synchronize late, but in time

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The German water jumpers use their last World Cup chance to win a medal. In the absence of the favourites an impressive series ends.

The bronze medallists Tina Punzel and Lou Massenberg smiled happily from the podium. The European Champions only had to admit defeat from the three-meter board to the Australian and Canadian jumping pairs. “That was simply a super beautiful conclusion to a super beautiful world championship,” said the 18-year-old Massenberg. The water jumpers took their last chance to win a medal in Gwangju on Saturday, where they had previously won two Olympic tickets. For the German Swimming Federation it was the sixth precious metal of the title fights.

The pool swimmers stood at the edge of the pool and watched the ceremony with devotion, the national water jump coach Lutz Buschkow pulled out his smartphone at the award ceremony to capture the bronze moment. “We had set ourselves a medal for the World Championship and had to wait until the last day,” Buschkow revealed. “I think that water diving is on the right track overall and that maybe we can get a strong team together towards Tokyo”. The greatest hopes for the Olympic Games 2020 will also lie in record European Champion Patrick Hausding, who is going to play his fourth Summer Games.

At the World Championships in Budapest two years ago, Hausding won silver from the three-meter board and bronze together with Sascha Klein, who is no longer active. Now Punzel/Massenberg made sure that there was no jumper zero number in South Korea. “The minutes until the British jumped were catastrophic, because I thought to myself: please don’t come fourth again,” said the 23-year-old Punzel, alluding to the result of the 2017 World Cup. “That’s why the joy and relief was all the greater when Lou said: They are behind us.”

There was not much missing to the even more valuable precious metal. With 301.62 points, the Dresdner and the Berliner only narrowly had to admit defeat to the victorious Australians Maddison Keeney and Matthew Carter (304.86) and the Canadians Jennifer Abel and Francois Imbeau-Dulac (304.08). “We will celebrate again,” said Buschkow, who also wants to watch water polo in the coming days. The German team will fight against South Africa for the quarter finals on Sunday (11.30 a.m. / CEST) – as the clear favourite.

That would also have been the Chinese water jumpers in the Mixed, but they did without. Yang Hao preferred to prepare for the more important single final of the men from the tower. After eleven wins in eleven previous competitions for China, the Australians took their chance.

Up to Punzel/Massenberg only the open water swimmers in South Korea had won German medals. In Yeosu there were two gold medals and a total of five plaques. In this positive mood, the pool swimmers will now be able to add to their strength. (dpa)

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Mette Frederiksen is a The Washington Newsday correspondent. With her coverage of general science, NASA and the interface between technology and society, Frederiksen has been in the Science Desk's Technology Beat since joining Washington Newsday in 2018.

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