No joke! The Olympic boat of the sailors Tanja Frank and Lorena Abicht was stuck in traffic in the Suez Canal. Not the only hurdle before Tokyo.
Today there are exactly 100 days until the Olympic Games in Tokyo. If, with a delay of 364 days, they actually increase from July 23rd. According to a recent poll by “Kyodo News”, 72 percent of the Japanese are in favor of canceling the ring spectacle. The people in Japan fear that thousands of athletes, supervisors and officials will cause a new wave of corona in the country.
Tanja Frank ignores such scenarios and forecasts. “In my head there is only the option that the Olympics take place. Otherwise I could not give 100 percent in the preparation,” says the sailor in the “Today” conversation. In 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Frank saved the red-white-red honor. With partner Tom Zajac, she won bronze at the last minute – Austria's only medal in 302 (!) Competitions.
The Viennese girl with a math IQ of 158 wants to strike again in Japan. Frank, who now forms a duo with Lorena Abicht and won silver at the 2018 World Cup in Aarhus (DAN), will be fine-tuning her form in Austria this week. “One last fitness block at Lake Neusiedl, then a month's training on the water in Lanzarote.”
No abuse! Your 49erFX boat was last stuck in the Suez Canal when the cargo ship “Evergreen” blocked the sea route there. Parts of her boat were loaded in a container that did not move on a freighter for a few days on the waterway in the direction of the Far East. “It will have arrived safely in Japan by the time the Olympics start,” grins Frank in the “Today” conversation. “The mast and sails were not in the container. We are currently training in our replacement boat.”
Because the Olympic sailing area off Enoshima is closed to all athletes until at least July, all sailors worldwide are looking for the perfect copy of the water and wind conditions there. Frank evaluated the weather data from several years with the meteorologist she trusted. “We decided on Lanzarote. At the Olympics, a lot will depend on the general weather conditions and typhoons in the vicinity. We expect high waves. That suits us. We don't have the experience for strong winds.”
The duo has only sailed one regatta in the 13 months since the start of the pandemic. In Lanzarote there was a day's victory, but in the end it was 15th overall. Frank feels in a “happy position” as an athlete in everyday Corona. “We can travel, train in the weight chamber and on the water.” Postscript: “But of course life as an athlete has become more arduous.”
Frank knows next to nothing about their competition in the fight for a medal. “Except for what you post on social media. Australians and New Zealanders have not been allowed to leave their homeland since Corona.” Even in the only competition there was hardly any contact with the other teams. “You don't meet like you used to. Everyone kept their distance after the races.”
100 days until day X. Frank, like the other red-white-red medal hopes, has not yet been vaccinated. She's hoping for the spades. “Otherwise my dream of the Olympics could still burst for me.” According to “Today” information, the Olympic athletes are to be vaccinated by the armed forces from May 2nd – if enough vaccine is available and the risk groups have been taken care of by then. “I would be fine at the beginning of May,” Frank hopes.