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Make two out of four – starting places for Women's sprint in Tokyo vehement contested

Lea Sophie Friedrich ©
Lea Sophie Friedrich ©

Make two out of four: The rivalry in women's Sprint has become fully kindled a year before the Olympics. With Miriam Welte, Emma Hinze, Lea Sophie Friedrich and Pauline Grabosch, four women with proven skills and successes are fighting for two tickets for Tokyo 2020.

Berlin. “This will be a tough fight between us four” Emma Hinze said, if she is thinking at internal qualification for Olympic Games in Tokyo. At the 133. German Track National Championships in Berlin the "Cottbuserin" established her strong performance with two gold and two silver medals. Especially with her surprise victory in the 500-meter Time Trial, the 21-year-old put her fellow campaigners under pressure.  After third-placed in Team Sprint at European and World Championships, Emma set a new personal best with her standard partner Miriam Welte from Kaiserslautern and also underlined her abilities in Keirin and Sprint. "Yes, Tokyo is my goal. I'm going to work hard for that, she announced after “only "being a substitute rider in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro – just outgrown of junior class.

After a long hesitation, Miriam Welte now also wants to go to Tokyo and then to finish her long and extremely successful career with an Olympic victory and six World titles. In Berlin it became apparent that the soon 33 years old is very reliable in the Team Sprint, but that she is not an option to other individual disciplines due to her specialization for the first lap. The German top determine others - international she played in Sprint and Keirin actually never a bearing role. This fits her statement in the "Tagesspiegel": "Olympics would be a super beautiful conclusion for me. It's also my big goal to make it again and I'll put it all on one card once again.”

Lea Sophie Friedrich, 2018 four-time Junior World Champion and with a very strong debut in the elite class with fourth place at the UCI World Championships in Poland, U 23 European Championship titles in Keirin and Time Trial and now her first two elite National titles in Keirin and Sprint. She needed a bit to gain momentum in Berlin but after then it was just huge and impressive. "The fact that I am now the National Champion in Keirin and Sprint is very important to my mind and gives me further confidence," said the 19-year-old, who will now enjoy a week holiday after a long period of competition`s. "I'm just mega proud, what I've done in the first year of the elite class." Also, the Team Sprint, I do not yet written off: "I want to ride in Tokyo with Emma the Team Sprint," she said in the "Lausitzer Rundschau".

Without self-confidence is currently Pauline Grabosch. Even the two medals in Berlin could not hide that. At the beginning of 2018, still World Champion in Team Sprint and third on podium in Sprint, the 21-year-old has currently lost the contact to the very top. This is also proven by the times. "She has already proven her efficiency, but that is almost two years ago," said national coach Detlef Uibel diplomatically. Grabosch's coach Anner Miedema, who has made the men training group in Erfurt really fast, still has great confidence in his athlete: "I have complete confidence in Pauline. But she has to learn to handle the situation. It is not always going up for athletes. "Grabosch's environment in Team Erdgas.2012, on the other hand, seems to prefer a change to be able to send the shooting star of early 2018 back on her way to Tokyo.