Diving: World Championships in Fukouka: "We are water jumpers, not judges"

The German water jumpers are not to be envied at the moment.

Diving: World Championships in Fukouka: "We are water jumpers, not judges"

The German water jumpers are not to be envied at the moment. When it came to her sport, it was mostly about the Jan Hempel abuse case and the consequences. As Timo Barthel, Moritz Wesemann

However, the jumpers of the post-Patrick Hausding era are still keen on their demanding discipline. The World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, which begin on Friday, not only offer them the chance to win medals on a big stage, but also positive headlines for their sport.

"You can't forget Lutz Buschkow as a person"

While the athletes are pursuing their passion for diving on board and tower, the case of the former world-class athlete Hempel continues to concern the German Swimming Association (DSV) - on two levels. On the one hand, there is Hempel's claim for damages addressed to the association, and on the other hand, the lawsuit by the former national coach Lutz Buschkow for reinstatement. In 2022, Hempel made public allegations of abuse by his former coach Werner Langer between 1982 and 1996, thereby shaking German sport.

As far as damages are concerned, Hempel's lawyer Thomas Summerer believes that an out-of-court settlement could soon be reached. What this might look like is not yet known.

The association is also hoping for a settlement in the Buschkow case. At least that's what DSV Vice President Wolfgang Rupieper said at the German swimming championships last weekend on ARD radio. The association had parted ways with the long-time national coach Buschkow, because he - at that time still in another function - allegedly knew about the offenses against Hempel, but is said to have concealed this. Bushkov denies this.

Buschkow is still very popular in the World Cup team, and his professional qualities are undisputed. "You can't forget Lutz Buschkow as a person," said Lena Hentschel. The Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist in synchronized jumping from the three-meter board praised Buschkow's empathy. "He always had an open ear, he was someone you could always turn to," said the 22-year-old and spoke of a shock when the trainer practically spoke during the World Cup in Rome a year ago in the course of the Hempel revelations was shot overnight. But as a team, we grew even closer together. "I think we're stronger than before," said Hentschel.

Bohm: "Buschkov left giant footprints"

The jumpers are still in contact with their former coach. European tower champion Timo Barthel has always had a close relationship with Buschkow. "We're both from Halle, so it's easy to cross paths," said the 27-year-old. The presumption of innocence applies to him. "We are water jumpers, not judges. I support everyone who is on my team. I am for them until someone proves them wrong, and that's how long we stick together," said Barthel. Buschkow follows everything that has to do with diving, that's his life. "We also get messages from him, he congratulates on successes. He burns for the team, whether he's there or not."

The hymns of praise for his predecessor are not to be understood as a vote of no confidence in the interim new national coach Christoph Bohm. Bohm, for many years home coach of record European champion Hausding, takes Buschkow as a role model in many ways. "We coaches have always got along well with Lutz. As a coach, I have grown with him as a national coach. The experience I was able to gain through him is now worth its weight in gold," said the Berliner, who even works with the athletes doesn't do much differently than its predecessor.

"Why should we change things that worked? It's a big challenge for me because Lutz Buschkow left huge footprints," said Bohm. He also has sporadic contact with the 65-year-old. "He was also at the championships in Berlin, so you can exchange ideas every now and then," said Bohm. At the first major event at world level after Buschkow's dismissal, he and his team now want to prove that they are also podium candidates without the coach.