Triathlon - Persistently on a detour - Sport
Jonas Schomburg's unusual Tokyo qualification
Meanwhile, says Jonas Schomburg, he is quite happy that he has taken care in Latin lessons. At the time, of course, he had no idea that Romance language skills would benefit him again because he was supposed to be a professional triathlete in a Franco-Belgian-Swiss training group. Anyway, last December it was time. He packed up his brother's old French textbooks, moved to Grenoble, and spent 30 minutes a day working with his training partners on the new official language. Latin did not hinder him. And Schomburg is anyway one who had to get used to new circumstances again and again; one who has learned that there is (almost) always a way. Even if it seemed so cumbersome at first glance.
Recently, Jonas Schomburg from Hannover-Langenhagen completed his toughest stage on this path so far. Tenth he was in the test race of triathletes in Tokyo, on the Olympic distance over 1.5 kilometers swimming, 40 kilometers of cycling and ten kilometers of running. That was enough to get the approval of the German Olympic Sports Federation for the Summer Games 2020, and for his small association, the German Triathlon Union (DTU), this is a great help: The glory days with Jan Frodeno's Olympic Gold 2008 are long gone pale memories; While German triathletes have been excelling on long-haul routes for years, the Olympic distance is a resort in constant remodeling. Now there are at least a few messengers of the upswing again: the 23-year-old Berliner Laura Lindemann, for example, who also acquired her Olympic right to shoot in Tokyo, and Schomburg, who has shown that even a forced detour can lead to the goal.
If you talk to Schomburg, you will hear that his anger about it is not completely gone. It was the 2012/13 season, his career was about to pick up momentum when she suddenly almost crumbled. Schomburg was "talent-free", they thought to have recognized in the German Association - he swam and cycled well, but he often slipped far back in the final run. He lost his squad place and with it almost all perspectives. As an athlete, however, it is often easy to change the national association in the Olympic sport; The Olympics people like to see many associations with athletes present at their main event. Schomburg joined the Turkish Federation in 2014, he knew the local head coach; his parents, both teachers, shouldered almost all costs. He was racing from competition to competition before the 2016 games, but at the end he lacked some silly qualifying points. "I cried for almost a week after that," he recalls. But he was certainly not talent-free, as he had proved.
Today, Schomburg values the value of this detour. "I've always gone my own way," he says, as he had trained a lot of defiance and obstinacy. It was perhaps not so bad that he then escaped the bustle of the German Association, where they fought for the botched Rio games for an internal qualification format for the World Cup races. Schomburg often trained for himself, even when he returned to the DTU in 2017, where he is now better promoted by the Bundeswehr sports group. He realized that the lonely units - half a year South Africa, for example - also had their disadvantages: "You just can not push yourself alone." Then Léo Bergère, a French triathlete, told him about this group in Grenoble.
Bergère had settled there with a few colleagues in a training cell beyond the associations, with their own coach, and in addition to their qualities as a language teacher, they convinced Schomburg especially with their brisk program. "There is no training group at the level in Germany," he says. But the mountains around Grenoble, where it "almost only go up and down" would have lifted his strength endurance to a new level. He had also worked on many little things, such as strength and stability exercises for running; or how to rush even faster through the mountain bends, which helps him on the increasingly demanding wheel loops of the World Championship series. Before the race in Tokyo, he finished tenth in Leeds, eleventh in Yokohama, he has made it this year in the advanced world class. Schomburg is still one who likes to travel the world in the service of his sport, but when he talks about his new center of life, he sounds as if he has found his place.
And so just a lot is flowing together in his triathlon life: The experiences of the detours ("I was simply better prepared in the end"); his teaching studies, in which he has just taken a leave semester to Tokyo to dedicate everything to the sport; the sultry climate which he often experienced in South Africa, and which should cause him less worries in sultry Tokyo than many competitors; the curvy Olympic course, where you have to show early on the top, which the good swimmer and cyclist Schomburg very accommodating. "A medal," he says, "I already feel for Tokyo." It's a bold announcement, but it would not be the first time he'd disprove one skeptic or another.