After the best short program of what has been a depressing Olympic figure skating winter for him so far, Paul Fentz was immensely relieved. “The pressure is off, I’m incredibly happy,” said the Berliner and proudly looked at the intermediate ranking at the European Championships in Tallinn.
An eleventh place before the freestyle decision on Friday (5:00 p.m. / Eurosport 2) gives the four-time German champion courage that a season that has been disastrous up to that point has a happy ending for him. Because the previous way to Beijing was paved with problems for the 29-year-old.
In September, Fentz missed qualifying for the Olympic individual competition, and as a result all funding was canceled in October. The trained retail salesman had to register as unemployed, the trip to the national title fights in December in Neuss was “at Mom’s expense”, as he himself admitted.
“I don’t have time for extended therapy at the moment”
Only then did it go uphill again. In terms of sport, because the participation of a German team in the Olympic team competition is now certain, the participation of a single runner is essential. And Fentz’s very personal injury cocktail of hip problems, an irritation of the pubic bone and an adductor strain is not cured, but is now manageable.
“I don’t have time for extensive therapy at the moment, it won’t go away completely on its own. But I can be treated in such a way that I don’t have much pain anymore,” said the EM eighth of 2020 in the capital of Estonia.
The fact that, unlike his teammates in the German Skating Union, he has not yet been formally nominated for the German Olympic team, does not worry Fentz, because internally he has been assured that everything has been clarified in principle. Also because his trainer Romy Oesterreich made sure that he stayed in the anti-doping program after being kicked out of the squad and continued to be tested regularly.