It could hardly have been much worse for the German kayak quadruple.

“The meltdown has hit us.

A forklift crashed into the boat while it was being loaded, a total loss, ”said veteran Ronald Rauhe in his Instagram story after the crash of the high-tech boat in Luxembourg.

The forks hit and demolished the carbon kayak.

Particularly bitter: The replacement boat in Japan is one of only two boats manufactured worldwide.

Next problem: “It's not pink,” Rauhe emphasized.

The pink boats are the pride of the German canoeists. At the first Olympic Games after reunification - in 1992 in Barcelona - the bright pink should make the boats appear a little longer on the target photos. The optical advantage actually worked with TV technology of the 90s due to slight blurring. Because the bright boats often created a small outline in the picture in the style of a halo. In the meantime, the advantage is no longer given in the age of HD and UHD. Nevertheless, the color pink symbolizes team spirit and strength. And it reminds of the first appearance of the reunited canoe team from East and West.

Of course there is also “a lot of psychology, especially in relation to other nations. Because who likes to be hit by a pink boat? ”Said the head coach Arndt Hanisch. He appreciates the cooperation with the Institute for Research and Development of Sports Equipment in Berlin (FES). The foursome in particular was adapted to the width of the regular crew. The wafer-thin carbon processing takes place in coordination with the seat and stretcher for the feet. In addition, modifications were made to the control fin. "The athletes are always asked what can be improved," said Hanisch.

Max Rendschmidt, Rauhe, Tom Liebscher and Max Lemke are top favorites over the 500 meter distance. In 2016 in Rio, Rendschmidt and Liebscher won gold with Max Hoff and Marcus Groß over the distance that was twice as long at the time. The Tokyo crew sent a replacement boat from the federal performance center in Duisburg on Thursday. It should arrive in Japan on time via the cargo airport in Luxembourg. "To be on the safe side, we packed it in a wooden box," said the Dresden Liebscher.

“The foursome has the Olympic design and was the training boat here. It's an equivalent boat, ”said Canoe Project Manager Dirk Böhme from the FES boat builder for the German Press Agency about the carbon-look prototype. It is questionable whether it can still be overmolded in pink in Tokyo. Head coach Hanisch sticks to his principle: "The boat is one thing, but it depends on the crew that sits in it."