When asked the decathlon trio how the pressure at the World Championships would change due to the expectation of a medal, Manuel Eitel pushed the microphone on to European Champion Niklas Kaul with a grin.
"I'm ninth in the world this year - the question goes to Leo," said the ex-world champion and wasn't tempted. Leo Neugebauer, best in the world this year, made a cool save. "When I go out there, I'll do exactly what I've been doing all season," said the 23-year-old shortly before his start on Friday at the World Championships in Athletics. "I'm not going to let anything build up more pressure."
Great medal hope
Alongside javelin thrower Julian Weber, the decathletes are the German Athletics Association's greatest hope for a medal, which is without a medal after five of nine days of competition in Budapest. With 8836 points, Neugebauer improved Jürgen Hingsen's 39-year-old German record by four points at the beginning of June and thus catapulted himself to eighth place in the all-time world list of the best in the supreme discipline.
"I'm very relaxed," said Neugebauer, who studies and trains in Austin, Texas, in Budapest. "I'm going to go out there and have fun."
Heat in Hungary: No problem for Neugebauer
At the World Championships a year ago in the USA, Kaul finished sixth, Neugebauer, who debuted at the World Championships, tenth. For the 26-year-old Eitel from Ulm, the first World Cup is coming up. "It's nice that we have a good team, we haven't been that strong collectively for a long time," said 25-year-old Kaul from Mainz. It's fun to have two strong competitors from your own country, but at the same time you can motivate each other and get each other out of trouble.
Neugebauer reported that the American Trey Hardee, world champion from 2009 and 2011, spoke of an international match between the USA and Germany. Three Americans rank in the top 10 in the world. Norway and Canada are represented there twice. In addition to the competition, everyone also has to master the heat in Hungary with temperatures of over 30 degrees. "As hot as it is here, it's a cool day in Texas," Neugebauer said.