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Warnatzsch Bows Out; Germany In Turmoil

Aug 7, 2012  - Craig Lord

Norbert Warnatzsch, coach to Britta Steffen, has announced his retirement in the wake of Germany's worst Olympic performance in the pool since 1932 - not a medal in the mix.

Performance head Lutz Buschkow is in for a hard time after suggesting in the German media that coaches were to blame: he says they need to improve from "top to bottom".

The question that is bound to come back from coaches is: will the DSV and those in charge of funding and performance do likewise. SwimNews understands that Buschkow's view has gone down like a led balloon among coaches back home in Germany.

One coach said the DSV had done "nothing" to spread knowledge of the kind needed for elite performance, requests that expertise be spread from the nation's six excellence centres to clubs across the country met with "sorry - we have not time". 

A blind eye had been turned to knowledge and experience that had been gleaned from the US but set aside to fester on a shelf, said a source.

Dirk Lange left Germany's team last winter after a dispute with the DSV over what was required for elite swimming performance. His job, SwimNews understands, is to go to Henning Lambertz, although the position is still being advertised.

Germany is the third nation heading for a long hard look in the mirror after the London 2012 Games, Australia and Britain already on the way to whole-scale reviews.