Mr and Mrs targeting Olympic glory for Germany

Mr and Mrs targeting Olympic glory for Germany

Mr and Mrs targeting Olympic glory for Germany

Sport

18/04/2024 - 09:05
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Malte and Anastasiya Winkel were concerned that their marriage might suffer if they teamed up in the 470 mixed dinghy together. But they decided to take the risk anyway.

Currently, they’re fighting tooth and nail, not with each other, but against their training partners and teammates also fighting for the right to represent Germany at Paris 2024 this summer.

Currently the Winkels trail Simon Diesch and Anna Markfort in the German trials, although the final of three events is yet to come, the 470 European Championship in Cannes in the south of France, taking place in early May.

Malte and Anastasiya Winkel were concerned that their marriage might suffer if they teamed up in the 470 mixed dinghy together. But they decided to take the risk anyway.
Currently, they’re fighting tooth and nail, not with each other, but against their training partners and teammates also fighting for the right to represent Germany at Paris 2024 this summer.

Currently the Winkels trail Simon Diesch and Anna Markfort in the German trials, although the final of three events is yet to come, the 470 European Championship in Cannes in the south of France, taking place in early May.

However, the couple soon realised that trying to completely separate their day-to-day relationship from their sailing partnership was not only impossible but also unnecessary. “We’ve talked a lot with our sports psychologist about it,” says Anastasiya. “It’s different for men and women, and sometimes I’ve taken something from the water back on shore, sometimes Malte has. We can’t always separate these two areas of our life, but we’ve come to the conclusion that that’s also totally okay.”

This unique situation has turned into one of their greatest advantages, Anastasiya believes. “One of our strengths is that we’re super open with each other. We directly say what we think and we don’t have hidden conflicts which eventually explode. Every kind of conflict resolves itself almost immediately.”

Reflecting on their journey and the motivation from missed opportunities at the Tokyo Olympics, Anastasiya says, “It showed me from one side that I’m definitely good enough to be in the running for a medal. Experiencing that atmosphere, the feeling and emotions of the people who were there on the podium – after that, I said to myself that I definitely want to feel that too.”

Looking ahead to the Paris 2024 Olympics, the significance of potentially winning a medal together is not lost on them. Having won a silver at the Olympic Test Event last summer, they have already shown they have the measure of conditions in Marseille.

Malte says: “Winning an Olympic medal together, as husband and wife, would be super special. When we won the silver medal at the Test Event, it has given us a lot of confidence.”

But first they have to win the German trials, and achieving that could prove every bit as hard as winning a medal at the Games.

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