In the interview with SZ, Clemens Wickler, 24, from Starnberg, talks about the hype surrounding the silver medal won at the World Cup, his partner Julius Thole and many people who Help – at the yard and at home.
A year ago, she had no one on the bill. But last weekend, 24-year-old star Clemens Wickler and 22-year-old partner Julius Thole played at the World Beach Volleyball Championships in Hamburg, in the hearts of the public. Against all forecasts, they qualified for the final and narrowly missed the title in front of 13,000 spectators. Thole and Wickler, voted best player of the World Cup, are now $ 45,000 richer, ranked seventh and seventh in the world the Hope of the German Volleyball Association for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. A conversation about tears, the hotel room routine and mom's beef roulades.
Mr Wickler, is the money from the Hamburg World Championships more tangible after a few days?
Clemens Wickler: All of this is very difficult to describe, so much has flooded us. It was amazing to be there in the stadium, so many people encouraged us. I know I do not know how many messages from friends and from people I do not know very well. And when you realize how many people watched the final on TV or in the media, I still can not understand everything.
His family was there too.
Yes, mom and dad were there all the time, they slept in my new apartment. By the way, she's almost done, because they did all the little things there. My father is very talented and has done a lot. Eating with them at night, seeing them after the games was very nice. My sister went through the night to be there in time for the final.
On the way to the finals, they beat the legend of Brazil's Alison Beach and Phil Dalhausser of the US, two Olympic champions. This in the semifinals the world ranking Norwegian first. Dalhausser spoke after leaving the noisiest stadium in which he ever played.
Yes, there were so many euphoric fans that the atmosphere carried us. For us, a child's dream has come true. It was a huge event, the biggest World Cup ever. And she will also bring German beach volleyball to the front.
Nevertheless, you seemed deeply disappointed after the final on the podium.
Such a chance to win home the world title, it will probably never be there again. That's why the disappointment was so huge. I also had to fight a little with myself, do not start crying. I think Julius was no different. If you are so close to the big shot, it's normal. Sometimes I'm really happy, then come back from small disappointment.
Always at the party in Schanzenviertel in an Italian restaurant?
It was a very good evening, with the whole team of coaches, friends and family. Our technical coach Markus Dieckmann was also present, with him perhaps the most moving moment, and we both had our first tears. At the time I was injured at Patellasehne from 2015 to 2017 and I could barely jump, he stood in the hallway and even threw me balls. And I dug it back and pricked it from a chair. It was extremely boring for him, I can not thank him.
Do you fall into a deep sleep after such a tournament?
I hoped for that. I was in bed at 11 pm and I thought sleeping until 11 pm. In the end, I fell asleep at 5:30 in the morning and I slept two hours. I was too upset, too busy. Julius went to the Baltic Sea with his girlfriend, relaxed there, I did not have a bullet in my hand until Thursday.
They canceled the Gstaad tournament, which is currently taking place and in which they originally wanted to participate, to prevent injuries. Are you going to visit your family in Starnberg-Hanfeld before the next tournament in Portugal or do you stay in Hamburg, at home and instead of your training?
In fact, I'm at home this weekend and I want to watch my sister Jenny participate in a beach tournament in Kempten. He also lives a lot of my relationship. At least, that was what I wanted to do until my dad told me that he will be competing on Saturday for the Senior Bavarian Championships. I'm really looking forward to being at home, but I have problems now (laughs).
Is Hanfeld the opposite of Hamburg?
Hanfeld is really a small village, with a great road at the end of which we live. Here, I lived until I turned 18, my place of well-being, the most beautiful place in the world. I can very well disconnect there, also because I travel often during the year. Opposing horses jump into the paddock. If I look out the window, there is no big mall, but the forest.
It seems very idyllic.
That's it too. My father is an architect, he designed our house himself. I love being there and in the garden, where I often play board games with my family. My mother takes care of me, asks in advance, when I come to visit, what I want to eat. Most are beef rolls with potato quenelles and red cabbage. She prepares me plates of fruits. He always does that. And if I want to exercise, I drive with my father for five minutes to go to Söcking, because our peace is beautiful. Also Starnberg with the lake is beautiful, and sometimes I just go to bed in the meadow in Percha.
You are now seventh in the world, in three weeks, the 2020 European Championships in Tokyo. Are there any more medals?
We are both very down-to-earth, we just want to continue to perform well. We can not hope that we will always play for the medals. But we are already planning to be at the Olympics, that's the next big goal. With Hamburg points, we have taken a big step forward. And if we can continue to play at the level, it's going really well.
What can you improve from here?
The overload can become more constant, the hypothesis can come better on the net. We play very well in all areas, but we can not call our repertoire constantly.
A task for your imposing supervisor.
Our team is one of the best in the world. We have a lot of specialized experts in each field. Be it the coach Martin Olejnak, who owns the tactics and has developed eleven different hand signals for blocking and defense; our technical trainer Markus Dieckmann; Jürgen Wagner, head of athletics and general control, is one of the best, if it is the best in the world; the great physios; our psychologist Anett Szigeti, who discusses many team communications with us and gives us individual help, such as breathing techniques, reflection, a change of visual focus. And then the scouts, who use a special program to analyze the weaknesses of our opponents. Without them, we would never have gone that far.
How much does your house share in your success? They were trained at TuS Fürstenfeldbruck, Bad Tölz TV and VC Olympia Kempfenhausen.
I received the basics from my parents, they started with them, vacationing in Italy and at home on the beach fields. Ludwig Reichlmaier, my first coach at Fürstenfeldbruck, and Mirko Panev, my coach from Bad Tölz, whom I saw at the World Cup. Roland Höfer also, with him we were allowed to train in the winter as a selection of Bayern once a week in the sand of the hall. And with coach Peter Meyndt, I was the most trained in Kempfenhausen, learned the basics. They all have a very big share.
With Julius Thole, you only play together since the end of 2017 because the association has realized the greatest potential of your combination. How much do you need to understand to travel around the world as a beach volleyball duo most of the year?
Hard to make a statement. We are both very ambitious, focused and always want to progress in the techniques. We get along well, have some similarities, but in terms of type, we are different. And I do not know if, in normal life, we would engage in such a conversation. Now we are friends, which is important to me. I could not interact with anyone that I do not understand.
It would be difficult, you would sleep in tournaments in the same hotel room.
We will continue to do so, now it has become routine. And I became a series viewer, although I have never done it before. Currently, "Game of Thrones" and "Jerks" are very popular.
Do you know what you earn with your $ 45,000 prize share?
After the season, I will have a good holiday, a week with the family, one with friends. Otherwise, I have everything I need.