Source: Berliner Kurier
Berlin. This six-day race and conclusion. Season comes to an end. Item. From. Pause. Not even the Rio Olympics can change that. Because the Olympics are simply not in it. Berlin’s super sprinter Robert Förstemann needs some time off. Three months at least. Maybe four. A lot went wrong last year for the 2012 Olympic bronze medalist. Förstemann says, “Now I’m starting from scratch again.”
He means it the way he says it. Literally. After a messed-up season, he questioned everything and everyone. Even themselves. And he has drawn consequences. “I have not been working with Emu Raasch for 14 days,” Robert tells KURIER. What’s important to him is that his longtime coach is not the bogeyman for a missed qualifier. “I owe a lot to Emu. I worked successfully with him for years, we set world records and won titles. Olympic bronze didn’t come by chance either,” the 29-year-old is truly grateful.
The step to now go separate ways, Förstemann has therefore also considered well. A year ago, Raasch presented him with a new fitness coach. One that optimized strength training after herniated disc on Christmas 2014. “Johannes Lukas taught me a completely new technique for squats, for example. I’m now back to the loads I lifted before the slipped disc. But I have neither knee nor back pain,” says Förstemann. A condition that the ambitious athlete has not known for a decade.
The absolute low point was then reached in the training camp in Colorado. In October, obsessed with ambition, he traveled sick to the national team in the USA. He dragged his feet, didn’t perform, took medications that upset his stomach, and came back with eight pounds less muscle mass. “I then never recovered from that,” Robert regrets.
He cannot undo it. He looks ahead. After more than eleven years of competitive sports without a break, the next three to four months belong to his body – which is to be checked from top to bottom -, his family and his studies.
He also has his annual mandatory internship with the Federal Police as an employer coming up. The wheels may, should and must gather dust in the cellar during this time. Until he can attack again, he is looking for a new sprint coach, has contacts, but nothing is ready to speak until now. “Once that’s settled, I want to go through another four years. I haven’t achieved everything I can for a long time,” says Robert with regard to the 2020 Olympics.
Until then, he’s going full throttle again at the Sixdays. “I can’t rely on my body at the moment. But I promise I’ll get everything out of it to celebrate another success on my home track.”