Annekatrin Thiele (l) and
Christiane Huth (r) of Germany on
the victory pontoon at the 2008
Beijing Games show their silver
they nearly cracked olympic gold in the
tightest finish at the Beijing olympics.
they helped salvage Germany from a less
than stellar performance in rowing at the
Games. they competed in the women’s
double sculls. they are annekatrin thiele
and Christiane Huth.
developed into the World Rowing Under 23
Championships, where she finished second in
the double in 1999 - she has remained almost
exclusively in that boat class ever since.
Coming out of the starting blocks in the Beijing
Final, Huth and Thiele had cleared their minds.
Although a little nervous, both had slept well
the night before. Both felt well-prepared. Both
felt a medal was within their grasp.
The duo were teamed up in 2008 under Coach
Jutta Lau and medalled at two Rowing World
Cups leading up to Beijing. The table had been
set for their Olympic debut.
Huth came to rowing through her family.
Her father and older brother rowed and Huth
regularly watched her brother race. “I was
fascinated by the team spirit and the action. I
wanted to do the same.” Huth joined the Potsdam
sports school as a 14-year-old and three years
later became a junior world champion. It took
her another 11 years to reach the Olympics.
Thiele describes Huth as ambitious and
determined without losing her love of
laughter and jokes. Huth sees Thiele as
accurate, determined and straight. “She’s funny,
overambitious and impatient. We complement
each other,” says Huth.
Thiele comes from a non-rowing family.
Introduced to the sport by her best friend at
the age of 10, she never looked back. “I was
so fascinated, I wanted to do it. My time in the
sport had begun.” Thiele first tasted international
success at the Nations Cup, an international
regatta for athletes under the age of 23 which
During the Olympic regatta Thiele and
Huth took the hard road to the Final. After
finishing second in their heat, they kept their
Olympic dream alive by qualifying through
the repechage. A second-place finish in the
repechage earned them the outside lane, lane
one, in the Final. It was the lane nearest to the
audience but potentially furthest away from
the racing action which would likely happen in
favoured lanes three and four featuring Olympic
Champions New Zealand and reigning World
Champions China. >