Formula 1 in Sochi – “Where are those in the regulations?” – Sports

The race was over and Lewis Hamilton rolled his Silver Arrows over to a rather unfamiliar parking position. Behind a sign with the large number “3”. There he was now standing next to the car of his team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who had earned a place on the “1” for the ninth time, and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull, in front of which was a “2”. Hamilton climbed out of the car and ran over to interviewer Johnny Herbert, who was about to ask him a few awkward questions. Hamilton put his hand to his ear as if he wanted to close his shell to dampen Herbert acoustically.

But before that he quickly pulled the zipper on his racing suit up to his chin. According to regulations! That was added on Hamilton’s bad day: Shortly before the start, the World Automobile Federation had banned a possible continuation of Hamilton’s anti-racism campaign. It issued a guideline that pilots must wear their overalls “closed to the neck” during the podium ceremony and interviews. After the race in Mugello, Hamilton wore a T-shirt that read “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor”, reminding him of the black American who was shot by a policeman. Who knows what message Hamilton had prepared in Sochi on Sunday.

But now Johnny Herbert was also standing in front of him. And Herbert, three-time race winner, wanted to know from him why he hadn’t managed to achieve Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 racing victories today, which for a long time it was thought that mankind had colonized Mars before it would equalize anyone. Herbert knew the answer, of course: Hamilton had burned a forbidden dress rehearsal on the asphalt in Sochi with his tires: he rehearsed the start half an hour before the race. Twice in a row. However, right at the end of the pit exit – not where test starts are allowed. For this he received a penalty of two times five seconds. Five per start. Ten seconds that cost him victory and postponed his jubilee day by at least two weeks: Then Formula 1 drives at the Nürburgring.

He just didn’t have the best day, said Hamilton. Herbert stayed with it, followed up. “It doesn’t matter now. I’ll take the points with me,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton learns of his sentence by radio

Hamilton’s annoyance was enormous, understandably. He wasn’t even to blame for the illegal performances. He had previously asked his team whether the test starts would be allowed. He was temporarily threatened with the imminent loss of his driving license: He initially received the ninth and tenth penalty points in the sinner register. With twelve points he would have had to sit out for a race. Formula 1 is tough like the driver’s license office in Flensburg. However, hours after the race, the commissioners withdrew the penalty points – and instead sentenced Mercedes to a fine of 25,000 euros twice.

When the commissioners in Sochi came to their verdict, the race had long been running. Hamilton found out about his sentence on the radio. In disbelief, he asked: “Where are these in the regulations?” Then he commented: “Just to slow me down. But it’s okay!” Well, Article 19.1 of the “Event Notes” states: “Practice starts may only be carried out on the right-hand side of the lane after the traffic lights at the pit exit.” His team boss Toto Wolff took Hamilton under protection. It is not exactly “specified” where exactly the place for the starts is.

Hamilton actually started in an area after the traffic lights at the pit exit. However, very far from and not immediately after the traffic lights. For safety reasons, the rulers are obviously concerned with a spatial equalization between the exercise start area and the course. It was no longer observed. Hamilton later admitted that he had chosen the place far back at the exit very deliberately. “I generally do this in every race. I’ve been doing it for years and have never had any problems.”

These are unusual mistakes that Mercedes have made recently. Apparently the regulations are not firmly in the mind. The other day, at the race in Monza, Hamilton had made a pit stop even though the pit lane was still closed. The team learned at that time that two blinking crosses on the left side of the track should be observed at certain moments. And now in Sochi there were also problems in the qualification: Hamilton almost retired from the time chase, barely made it to the final. But only because his racing team had screwed the softest, fastest and most ephemeral tire compound on his car in Q2 to be on the safe side. The regulations stipulate that the tires from the Q2 must also be put on at the start of the race. Which is why Hamilton, pole position or not, had a disadvantage in Sochi: He had to make good use of the most perishable tires in order not to risk one more stop than Verstappen, who started the race from second on medium tires.


Handball – from the yard back to the hall – sport

On Friday, Alfred Gislason, 61, had to go to the men’s outfitter. A handball national coach also occasionally takes care of his wardrobe, but this visit to a boutique in Solingen had a deeper meaning. In the flagship store of an association sponsor from the textile industry, the Icelander gave his first press conference seven and a half months after his presentation at the DHB in February. Gislason was dressed representative in the Solingen shop – and stated: “I was no longer up to date in terms of fashion.”

After seven months of stagnation in handball, this is a deficit that the national coach is generously forgiven. In February, the long-time successful trainer at THW Kiel was introduced as the successor to Christian Prokop, and the only thing he has been able to do actively with the national team since then was a one-week course in Hanover in March. After that, everything was canceled due to Corona. Gislason was doomed to idleness with his sleeves rolled up. “That was frustrating,” he says.

So he watched all the German international matches of the past two years and actually thought in early summer that he should always video-confer with his players on a regular basis – before he realized that the players weren’t really interested in handball at that time. That is why he occasionally did all those manual work on his farm near Magdeburg that he had never found time for in the 15 years before, as a club trainer. “Now everything is really done on the farm,” said Gislason on Friday, and of course that was the decisive signal for German handball that things can start again.

Master Kiel and runner-up Flensburg play the Supercup in Düsseldorf on Saturday evening, and the Bundesliga season begins next Thursday. The first two international matches are scheduled for the beginning of November, the final four of the Champions League will follow in Cologne at the end of December, the World Cup in Egypt in January and the Olympic qualification in Berlin next March. Phew. In view of these large numbers of appointments, it didn’t take Gislason too long to transform himself from a do-it-yourselfer back into a national coach, and as such, of course, he had to say something like this: “The important thing now is that the players get through the next few weeks healthy – yes “I’m worried, but so do the clubs.”

Gislason knows exactly where the club coaches the shoe pinch. Firstly, he was a club coach himself for years in Hameln, Magdeburg, Gummersbach and Kiel, and secondly, he has spent the past few weeks watching some local Bundesliga clubs train and test matches in order to get an impression of the condition of the candidates for the national team. For seven months, the DHB players and all those who want to be, couldn’t recommend themselves to the Icelander – the battle for the World Cup tickets is now all the more crisp. “The scaffolding is in place,” says Gislason, “but the roster has not yet been determined, and even in these times the principle applies: performance counts!”

The first German international game under Gislason is to be a European Championship qualifying game against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Düsseldorf on November 5th. Two days earlier, the coach got his players back together for the first time, and even then too much effective work would hardly be possible. “I didn’t intend to turn everything upside down anyway,” says Gislason, “that would be the biggest mistake I could make. I can only do fine-tuning.”

He wants to gradually implement handball as he imagines it and as the clubs and players from his time in Kiel know it well. Relevant keywords are there: offensive 6-0 cover, counter-attacks, quick middle.

The resumption of gaming operations is a blessing for Gislason, because he deliberately paused for half a year after the self-chosen end of his activity in Kiel in spring 2019 – and because “this pause has now become almost a year and a half”. Bridging this period in a meaningful way was “really difficult”: “During this time,” he says almost apologetically, “I tried to prepare for everything that might come our way.”

Gislason, who has won the German championship seven times and the Champions League three times as a club coach, knows exactly what is coming, but not really himself. If you ask him what his goals are for the World Cup in January, he replies: “I won’t be able to answer whether we have a chance for a medal until mid-January at the earliest – unfortunately not yet.”


Formula 1 – three Schumacher specs at the wheel – sport

There is a wonderful story about Ferruccio Lamborghini that is far too good not to be believed. Born in a village near Bologna, the son of a farmer had the idea of ​​buying up old military vehicles and converting them into tractors after the Second World War. The idea became a business model. It made Lamborghini so rich that he decided to buy a sports car: a Ferrari 250GT, which was made in Maranello, not far away. According to legend, Lamborghini caught a Ferrari with technical teething problems. Something like that was even rarer in the 1960s than in Formula 1 today. Which is why Lamborghini decided to complain about the extremely expensive Monday model – at Enzo Ferrari himself. According to legend, Ferrari listened to the tractor manufacturer’s words, then said: “The problem is not the car, it is the driver.” Well wait, Lamborghini is supposed to have thought, then he swore revenge on the arrogant designer: From then on he built sports cars himself – the rivalry between the two brands has long been legendary.

Maybe Stefano Domenicali will find this story soon. When he comes forward as the new boss of Formula 1 from 2021, which was announced on Friday. Domenicali, 55, is currently actually managing director at Lamborghini. And whoever switched to the Ferrari rival based in Sant’Agata Bolognese couldn’t possibly be exclusively committed to the Scuderia? Even if he had previously spent his entire professional life at the racing stable with the black horse – and as sports director played a key role in Michael Schumacher’s era of success with a total of eleven world championship titles between 1999 and 2004. Before he was promoted to team boss at Ferrari in 2007 and introduced himself in a new role on the first day with the words: “I see myself as the spiritual son of Enzo Ferrari.”

Ferrari’s spiritual son at the helm of Formula 1? Can neutrality be guaranteed, Lamborghini or not?

These are exciting days that Formula 1 experiences beyond the racetrack. The ten teams in the premier class recently renewed the Concorde agreement. They agreed on a basic contract up to and including the 2025 season, in which they defined the rules for their cooperation. The agreement had been reached, which was not only due to the pandemic. And the teams have now signed a paper that has two main features: Ferrari has once again retained its special rights, which, in addition to special payments to the oldest Formula 1 team, also continue to provide an exclusive right of veto against all kinds of possible decisions. And Mercedes, the dominant team since 2014, has negotiated a release clause at the end of each year. Against the background of the rumors about a possible departure of the manufacturer from Formula 1 at the end of 2021, this clause does not help to build trust. Especially since team boss Toto Wolff and his fastest employee Lewis

Hamilton also haven’t signed any contracts beyond the season.

In this spongy political situation, Stefano Domenicali is now the third long-time Ferrari man who has been socialized at the side of Michael Schumacher, who was already Domenicali’s superior at Ferrari until 2007 President of the Fia. The world automobile association is responsible for the sporting regulations – and was thus also involved in the non-transparent deal with which the allegations of cheating due to suspected irregularities in the fuel flow of the Ferraris were swept under the carpet at the beginning of the year. The triumvirate completes: Ross Brawn, the ingenious engineer at Schumacher’s side, who now works as Formula 1 sports director. Anyone who interprets this concentrated collection of Schumacher specs on the levers of power as a gain in influence Ferrari does not need to be insulted as a conspiracy theorist.

Numerous candidates were recently traded as possible successors for the American Chase Carey, who had taken over the reign in Formula 1 in 2017 after the takeover by the media group Liberty Media from long-time Zampano Bernie Ecclestone: Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, for example – but above all Toto Wolff. But you have to know that the 48-year-old Viennese, who owns 30 percent of the Mercedes team and who recently bought himself into Sebastian Vettel’s future employer Aston Martin, is expected to do just about anything, apart from the next moon landing: There was even speculation about a takeover of the Liberty Media racing series, the creation of a Formula Wolff. And so in some places it is also whispered that Ferrari used its veto to prevent a CEO Wolff from Formula 1.

Now Stefano Domenicali has to be credited with the fact that, unlike Wolff, he has been out of the operational business of Formula 1 since 2014. Despite this, he knows better than many others: Born in Imola, Domenicali studied economics in Bologna. After graduating in 1991, he immediately started at Ferrari without detour. For 23 years, until he fell out with the then Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo, he worked his way up. Search for sponsors, logistics, team manager, sports director, finally team boss. In his first year in responsibility, he won the last important trophy for Scuderia to date: the Constructors’ World Championship in 2008. Unlike his predecessor Todt, Domenicali sought less confrontation and more often equalization with the other teams. In a noisy business he was always a quiet man with gentle features. He once said of Todt: “His fault is that he sometimes expresses his opinion too brusquely.” His friendly nature could once again earn him the acceptance of old competitors.


Messi vs Barcelona: 790 characters Vendetta – Sport

On Friday, Lionel Messi, 33, was back on the front pages of Barcelona’s sports newspapers after an absence of several days, as a marginal figure, not as a protagonist. Together with the deputy Barça captains like Sergi Busquets or Gerard Piqué, he posed on the lawn with Luis Suárez, his friend and previous neighbor in the coastal suburb of Castelldefels, and the thirteen trophies that the Urguayer, who said goodbye in tears on Thursday, had won in six years of the Camp Nou.

By noon on Friday, there could be no doubt that Messi would hijack Saturday’s front pages. Because 21 days after his announcement that he was reluctant to stay in Barcelona, ​​Messi slipped into an avenger costume – and posted a post of 790 characters on a social network to say goodbye to Suárez, which the club again on Sunday against Villarreal before the delayed start of the season shake to the foundations. At the same time, they are probably only harbingers of a foreseeable turbulent season.

He had already got used to the idea that Suárez would leave, wrote Messi, “but it wasn’t until I got into the dressing room today that the penny really fell”. It will be difficult not to share everyday life with Luis Suárez, both on the pitch and in private, wrote Messi, “it was many years together, many matetees, lunches and dinners”. It is at least as painful to see Suárez in the Atlético Madrid jersey in the future, the center forward tried it on for the first time on Friday.

“We are at a point where nothing has surprised me for a long time”

Above all, however, Messi let his anger run wild at the Uruguayan’s departure. The subtext resembled the mood at a saloon shootout in the Wild West: “You deserve me to say goodbye to you for who you are: one of the most important players in the history of the club – and not for them to throw you out. But honestly said: We’re at a point where nothing has surprised me for a long time, “said Messi. He could have garnished that with regards to the club president Josep Maria Bartomeu. But that would probably have fulfilled the facts of the tautology. It was clear enough who he meant.

A few hours later, Suaréz posted his answer: “Thank you, amigo”, and then a prompt: “Keep showing that you are not number one for nothing.” Nobody should “cast a shadow on the fact that you are a giant”. Even if it had recently become quiet about Messi: It was to be expected that he would rebel against the destruction of his domestic ecosystem. His best cabin colleagues, Suárez and Chilean Arturo Vidal, were compensated and given away to Inter Milan and Atlético respectively. All that remains is Jordi Alba. With net earnings of allegedly more than twelve million annually until 2024, severance negotiations with him were out of the question. But whether he is Messi support enough? Now that that will be the focus of interest for months?

In the short term, that’s because everyone is excited to see how Messi’s falling out with the club’s management will affect his performance. Does he play well or badly?

The Messi case is exciting in the medium and long term because his contract expires in summer 2021 and he has not yet explained what he intends to do then. The fact is: From January he can freely negotiate a transfer free of charge and thus torment the club that has just rationalized his friends away. The greatest possible torture for Barça would be to let rumors waft – or even to fire – rumors about the interest of Barça’s arch-rivals Real Madrid in Messi. Beyond that, Messi is likely to tip the scales in the presidential election. They are currently scheduled for March, but the club opposition’s vote of no confidence against Bartomeu has received great support. The examination of the more than 20,000 signatures that have been collected has not yet been completed; but if more than 16,500 are valid, as can be assumed, a referendum would have to be called among the members. A two-thirds majority would lead to a change of government at Barça.


Bundesliga: Perhaps the only chance against Bayern – sport

As a professional footballer, you probably have to hurry up, otherwise the finest rooms with sea views on Mykonos or Ibiza will soon be fully booked – for the summer of 2023. That could be the year of longing, at least for national players, when a season begins like it has never been before has given, which follows another season as it has never been before. 2020/2021 is a season without a break due to Corona, followed by the European Championship and the Olympics and a World Cup in the winter heat of Qatar in 2022. In 2023, national players could possibly go on holiday again for the first time – provided, of course, that the associations don’t come up with a few Supercups and Superleagues that can be hosted in risky or other crisis areas. 2023: Which social network will then be the hottest for vacation photos?

“It hurt a lot in the end,” said coach Hansi Flick after FC Bayern’s 2-1 win against FC Sevilla in the Supercup. You don’t necessarily have to feel sorry for that, but the extra scenes in Budapest were the first indication of the madness that the calendar is causing this year. Even Leon Goretzka, who could appear at relevant trade fairs with his fitness acquired during the Corona break, was tired. Because everything is going well on the pitch at Bayern, that was also good for something – so it was of course obvious to replace the winning goal scorer Javi Martinez after 99 minutes. And yet: the season has only just started.

In the rhythm of the first week it goes on, on and on: Sunday Hoffenheim, Wednesday Dortmund (of course, Supercup again), Sunday Berlin. Then there will be international matches again, a total of six within six weeks. National coach Joachim Loew must politely ask Flick, his former assistant, to be able to invite the Munich players. Löw also complains about the scheduling (on behalf of the players, he’s probably more relaxed about it), but he might still like to practice a few moves with his regular team, half of which consists of FC Bayern’s regular team.

If Hansi doesn’t want to mess with Jogi, there is actually only one option for his key players to take a few breaks, and Flick spoke about that again in Budapest: transfers for more quality on the bench, successors for Thiago, Ivan Perisic, Philippe Coutinho and Alvaro Odriozola. As is well known, the Munich team started what is possibly the toughest season ever with the smallest squad ever. But the transfer market is also more complicated than usual: As a buyer, you want pandemic special prices, for all sellers FC Bayern is the quadruple winner.

The longer the commitments drag on, for which there is only time until October 5th, the more often there is talk of a few players who are already in Munich. Tanguy Nianzou Kouassi, 18, came from Paris this summer to defend himself against the injured Tanguy. For midfield, for example, Jamal Musiala, 17, who recently scored 8-0 against Schalke, or Mickaël Cuisance, 21, who allegedly cost twelve million euros last summer, and Nicolas Kühn, 20, winner of the Fritz Walter medal in attack Gold as the best German U 19 junior player 2019.

More playing time for your own talents, that would not only please sports director Hasan Salihamidzic, who brought them, but maybe also the Bundesliga: They could then try one or the other time to be as competitive as Sevilla FC on Thursday.


SpVgg Unterhaching – but without fans – sport

Third division soccer team SpVgg Unterhaching will not allow any spectators to attend the home game against newly promoted VfB Lübeck this Friday evening (7 p.m.). “Due to the rapidly increasing corona numbers in Unterhaching and the surrounding communities, the responsible district office made an urgent recommendation,” the association explained. For President Manfred Schwabl it was “the only logical consequence to play without a spectator”. Originally, the SpVgg had planned with up to 3000 visitors in view of the lower incidence in the district compared to the city of Munich. Despite the increase, a game could have taken place in front of spectators, as the incidence value in the district and the neighboring districts is below the value of 35 set by the DFB, said the SpVgg. “If the current situation does not allow a game with spectators, then of course we accept it,” emphasized Schwabl.

© SZ vom 25.09.2020 / SZ


PSG – Di María suspended after a spit attack – Sport

The scandalous game of the French soccer league between Paris St. Germain and Olympique Marseille (0: 1) led to further consequences. The Argentine PSG striker Angel Di María was subsequently suspended for four games because he spat on opponent Álvaro González in the defeat almost two weeks ago. He initially got away with it, but has now been punished on the basis of TV recordings.

In a heated final phase of the game there were five dismissals. The Parisian Neymar also saw red for hitting González in the back of the head. The Brazilian later complained that González had racially insulted him. The league has launched an investigation into González, but a verdict will not be announced until September 30th. PSG had recently submitted video material that should prove that González had insulted Neymar as a “monkey”.

© SZ vom 25.09.2020 / sid


FC Barcelona – Suarez bites his tongue – sport

Luis Suárez, 33, had dressed up for the ceremony of separation, with a dark shirt and a metallic shimmering suit – and with white shoes. The striker smiled when he came on stage. But when he held the microphone in his hand, he couldn’t even make it to the end of the first sentence. “This is very difficult for me …” said the Uruguayan attacker, then his voice faltered, then the tears flowed. Because after six fabulous years at FC Barcelona, ​​the time had come to say goodbye.

Suarez and Barcelona, ​​it was a special relationship. In 2014 he came from Liverpool – and had to sit in the stands for the first few months. The reason: His legendary bite in the shoulder of Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, which resulted in a long suspension. “The club trusted me in 2014. Although they knew the conditions under which I came because of a mistake I had made,” he said now, also in tears, that he will never forget FC Barcelona. Now he’s going to Atlético Madrid. Almost free.

Because: FC Barcelona collects a transfer fee of a maximum of six million euros – provided that Suárez achieves certain, contractually defined successes with his new club that have remained secret. The transfer almost failed at the last moment, because for a short time it was in the room that Suárez, a future direct rival of Barça, would not leave a cent in the club’s treasury. Either way, the move marks the end of a “crazy month,” as Suárez said. About four weeks ago, Barcelona’s new coach Ronald Koeman told him that he should leave. A few days later, his best friend in the squad, Lionel Messi, said he wanted to leave. The paradox: Suárez wanted to stay, fulfill the last year of his contract – and yet had to go. Messi, on the other hand, wanted to leave, went on strike – and in the end had to stay.

When Suarez said goodbye, Messi sat in the front row. “You have to respect when you are told that you are no longer counted on, but also when a player says he wants to leave,” said Suárez. That was the only allusion to the background of the spectacular personalities. The 2015 Champions League winner allowed himself a little swipe at the club’s leadership: “Leo knows what I think and I know what he thinks. It struck him as strange that someone had to leave, and then too to a direct rival. ” Otherwise, Suárez bit his tongue – his own, mind you.

Suárez’s heart stays in Barcelona

He saw a video of some of his best scenes. The Uruguayan became the third top scorer in Catalan history in six years. He scored 198 goals in 283 games. “Everyone knows where I’m going now. I want to keep proving that I can keep up at the highest level,” he said, “if not at Barça, then at another club.” Most recently, he was also in conversation with Juventus Turin. However, in order to be able to work in the Italian league, he would have had to be naturalized. That led to a bizarre affair a few days ago. Suárez, the examination content was stuck at the University for Foreigners in Perugia; The Italian public prosecutor announced that the number of points was apparently already determined before the test began.

So far, he has been allowed to work in the Spanish league and is still allowed to work, because there Suárez is considered an “EU foreigner” by marriage because of his family status. Reason: His wife has an Italian passport. That paved the way for him to Atlético, where Diego Costa’s future is open. “I hope to achieve great things with Atlético,” said Suárez. His heart stays in Barcelona.


Olympia 2000 – the star of the southern hemisphere – sport

The spring evenings in September 2000 were still fresh and cool, at least for the track and field athletes with their sensitive muscles who were then out and about in the southern hemisphere. After dark, the temperatures on Australia’s east coast fell well below 20 degrees, which is also why the local sprinter Cathy Freeman slipped into a full-body suit, green-silvery, with a hood. Only the fingers stuck out, and of course the face. The face of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

This Friday marks the 20th anniversary of the women’s 400 meter final, to which Cathy Freeman competed. “If she wins this race,” her former manager and partner Nick Bideau had predicted, “we’ll be talking about it in Australia in twenty years. Maybe forever.” Anyone who was in the stadium when Cathy Freeman won this race will remember it until the end of their days. In less than a minute a pressure that had built up over the years was released. Since Sydney won the Summer Games, in 1993, and since Cathy Freeman appeared on the international stage, a year later.

The woman from the small town of Mackay in the state of Queensland had steadily stoked the hopes of her compatriots, as Olympic runner-up in Atlanta in 1996, as world champion in Athens in 1997 and Seville in 1999. That would have been enough to make her country’s great, if not the greatest, hope for gold in the home games from Sydney to go. But then expectations at the opening ceremony were raised even further.

Because the International Olympic Committee had dedicated the 2000 Summer Games to women who were allowed to take part for the first time 100 years earlier, the organizers had sent five former Olympic champions from Australia to the last round of the stadium as torchbearers: the athletes Shirley Strickland, Betty Cuthbert and Debbie Flintoff-King, in between the swimmers Dawn Fraser and Shane Gould. At the end of this relay race, to the astonishment of everyone in the arena and in front of the TV screens, Cathy Freeman emerged from the darkness of the night to receive the flame and light the Olympic flame. Everyone understood the message: Now it was their turn to continue the series of Olympic victories.

Olympic champions since 1992

1992: M.-J. Perec (France) Sec. 48.83

1996: M.-J. Perec (France) 48.25

2000: C. Freeman (Australien) 49,11

2004: T. Williams-Darling (Bahamas) 49,41

2008: C. Ohuruogu (Great Britain) 49.62

2012: S. Richards-Ross (USA) 49,55

2016: S. Miller (Bahamas) 49,44

Cathy Freeman should bring her country gold, at least, rather more. “Our Cathy not only carries the sporting hopes of the nation,” the newspaper recalled Sydney Morning Herald the 19 million Australians on the day of the final, “but also a political mission.” A heavy burden for a woman who is only 1.65 meters tall and descended from the Aborigines, the Aborigines who have been disenfranchised and oppressed for centuries. Freeman has always looked after her roots. When she won her first title at the 1994 Commonwealth Games, she took two flags to the lap of honor – the Australian and the Aboriginal. It consists of three colors: red for the earth, yellow for the sun, and black for people. That caused trouble at first, but before Sydney Freeman was considered an integrating figure, a symbol of a multicultural country. “She runs for a reconciled Australia,” said the Sydney Morning Herald.

First of all, of course, she had run away from the hype that was brewing in her home country: she was preparing for the Games in the USA and Great Britain. During the Olympic days, the hustle and bustle of the women’s 400-meter run increased so absurdly in Australia that her supposedly greatest rival, the French Marie-José Perec, gave up in exasperation: the 1996 Olympic champion fled Australia before the preliminary run, because she couldn’t stand the question after the duel any longer.

Cathy Freeman withstood the pressure. And because the atmosphere in the fully occupied stadium was already deafeningly loud in the run-up to and in between and then also in the semifinals and got louder every day, the full-body suit that she put on for the final was probably also a protection from the outside world. The then 27-year-old reported before the finale that one of her strengths was being able to hide everything during the race and concentrate on the essentials: “On the track in front of me, on the commands of the starter. Everything else somehow blurs, as it would be jelly. “

The face of the Sydney Games: Cathy Freeman.

(Photo: Patrick Hertzog / AFP)

When the starter finally shot the eight finalists into the race, lightning and thunder pelted down from the stands. The lights of innumerable cameras twinkled like stars in the firmament and illuminated the way; the cheering of 112,000 spectators grew like a wave on which the runners surfed apparently weightlessly around the track. And when Cathy Freeman turned third onto the home straight, the noise swelled up to an infernal tsunami, which carried her to the finish line first. In shoes sewn together in three colors: red, yellow, black.

It took a while for the jelly to disappear from Cathy Freeman’s eyes, for Cathy Freeman’s eyes to wake up from her trance and come to again. She peeled off the hood, not only was that a relief. She had accomplished her mission, she had won a gold medal, Australia’s 100th gold medal in Olympic history. Your face, the face of those 2000 Games, it smiled. Even years later, Cathy Freeman felt cold when she thinks of that cool spring evening in September: “Even today I feel as if I could feel the energy of this moment.”


Opinion at noon: Supercup in Budapest – super stubborn, super nonsensical – sport

The Supercup was invented to answer a question that basically no longer arises. The Dutch journalist Anton Witkamp had the idea in 1972 to determine the definitely best team in Europe in a game between the winners of the European championship and cup winners; Ajax Amsterdam won the first edition. The cup is now played between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League, two competitions that have long been incomparable in terms of prestige and value. When Bayern and Sevilla FC face each other in Budapest, the first thing to do is to answer another question. And this time not only is it pretty unnecessary to pose, this time it’s also dangerous.

In European football, can spectators return to the stadium? To find out, Uefa selected the game a month ago as a kind of pilot project: around 30 percent of the Puskás arena can be full, which corresponds to around 20,000 people. The fact that the association wants to test at some point how games with fans from different nations can work during the pandemic is understandable, even if people are sitting in the stands again in league operations. But now Budapest is a risk area, defined as such by the Robert Koch Institute, with an incidence number of more than 100. That is about double the factor in Munich, where the ranks had to remain empty on the first day of the game and remain empty for the time being – and where From this Thursday on, stricter rules will apply again, for example a mask requirement in the pedestrian zone. As understandable as the Uefa idea was once, it is now so nonsensical to stick to it stubbornly.

FC Bayern even pointed out a warning from the Foreign Office

The association says that all safety precautions are being taken. But even those who recently showed understanding now see things a little differently. Fans who wanted to travel from Munich are canceling their tickets in droves, even since Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder announced the tightening of quarantine rules on the occasion of the Supercup. Even Bayern’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, who emphasized his understanding for the plans on Sunday, now chose his words differently: “I think everyone has a stomachache.” The club even pointed out a warning from the Foreign Office “against unnecessary tourist trips” to Budapest.

There, in Hungary’s capital, the green-liberal Lord Mayor Gergely Karácsony has spoken out in favor of a game without spectators. However, he also said: “The responsibility rests with those who have the power to make decisions.” These are Uefa President Aleksander Čeferin and Hungary’s right-wing national Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who is expected as a guest of honor at the game, as is Sándor Csányi, Hungary’s head of the association, who sits on the Uefa Executive Committee as Vice President.

How controversial the role of the association is, underlined the speech of Porto’s mayor, who threatened to file a lawsuit. The game was withdrawn from his city – with a high level of infection as the reason.