Annekatrin Thiele (b) and
Christiane Huth (s) nearing the
finish line at the 2008 Beijing
> “In the Final we started as outsiders,” says
Huth. But, she added, “We knew that if we did
our best, anything would be possible.”
Holding on to early leaders (China) at the start,
Thiele and Huth were in front at 750m. They
remained in the lead through the middle of the
race, working up to three-quarters of a boat-length’s lead by the 1,250m mark. With just 500m
left to row Thiele and Huth had maintained a
1.65 second advantage over New Zealand who
were now in second. The commentators were
heaping praise onto the Germans. Thiele-Huth
still had the lead at 1,750m. They still had the
lead at 1,800m, then at 1,900m. The finishing
horn barely had time to blow three beeps.
Thiele and Huth sat in the finish area, with
New Zealand and Great Britain, waiting.
Waiting. Waiting for the official result.
“My feeling said second place,” says Thiele,
“because at 1,000 metres I saw we were in the
lead, but then I didn’t see anything. I was only
concentrated on us and our boat.”
The results board flashed up: 7:07.32, 7:07.33,
7:07.55. The Germans had finished second
behind New Zealand with Great Britain in third.
Thiele and Huth had been part of the closest
race of the Beijing Olympic regatta.
“It took a bit of
time ‘til I realised
happened. But then pride and pleasure came,”
A two-month break from rowing followed
Beijing, with Thiele and Huth then returning to
training. They continue to aim for the double
and London 2012 ambitions are on their mind,
with gold being the favoured option.
“I prefer the double,” adds Huth. “In this boat you
have one partner and in the quad
there are three more girls. I had my
biggest successes in the double.
That’s why it is my favourite.” ■ M.S.B.