Hoping for bronze and actually winning bronze: The German gymnasts made history at the European Championships in Munich and won their first ever European Championship medal in a team competition.
Almost 10,000 spectators in the Olympic Hall were completely enthusiastic.
In fourth place in the qualification, the quintet of the German Gymnastics Federation (DTB) remained almost without a fall in the final.
Only the German all-around champion Sarah Voss from Cologne, slightly handicapped by a calf injury, fell on the floor at the end of her freestyle.
The title went to Italy ahead of Great Britain.
Seitz starts with top performance
The German record champion Elisabeth Seitz started with a top performance on the uneven bars and underlined her ambitions for precious metal on this device on Sunday.
Kim Bui (also from Stuttgart), eighth at the European Championships in the all-around, and Emma Malewski from Chemnitz, on the other hand, only just fell short of their ratings from the qualifying round on Thursday.
But on the balance beam, the hosts of the European Championship decisively extended their lead over France, supposed rivals for the bronze medal.
All German athletes stayed on the “Zitterbalken”, the French, on the other hand, had four relegations.
Voss' mistake on the floor was ultimately irrelevant, the lead could be maintained on the jump.
The DTB team hugged each other jubilantly and the new national coach Gerben Wiersma also raised his arms enthusiastically.
Four more medal chances open up for the German athletes in the apparatus finals on Sunday.
Bui and Seitz have qualified for the decision on the uneven bars, on the balance beam former world champion Pauline Schäfer-Betz from Chemnitz and Malewski are in the final battle.
Rowers get a "overpretzel"
In the meantime, the frustration was huge in the Germany eight.
Instead of celebrating the expected medal at the European Championships, batsman Torben Johannesen & Co. had to explain the depressing fourth place at the home European Championship.
“The Brits showed how to ride aft.
Unfortunately, we did it differently and then you get knocked out,” said 27-year-old Johannesen.
"We didn't have the guts," said the Hamburger, who was appointed batsman shortly after Mattes Schönherr's absence.
All the loud cheers from the stands in Oberschleißheim didn't help on the day before the grand finale of World and European Champion Oliver Zeidler in the singles - in the end the German flagship had to line up just behind bronze medal winners Italy.
Behind the outstanding Brits, the Dutch celebrated silver.
"If we deliver such a performance, then we can't complain in the end," said helmsman Jonas Wiesen.
National coach Uwe Bender has high hopes for the training camp that the crew is heading to on Sunday in what will be a “year of learning and learning”.
“The young team fought on the track to get back on track.
That cost the grains that were missing at the back,” said Bender a month before the World Championships in the Czech Republic, where the competition will be even tougher.
"Today we paid dearly."
The mood at Zeidler was significantly better after a sovereign victory in the semifinals.
"Stay cool and have a good time on Sunday," was the motto of the 26-year-old.
After he still had problems with the starting phase in the run-up, he now dominated the competition with new skulls.
“Of course it's not optimal to take new skulls before the important races, because that's always a bit different feeling.
But it feels better than before,” said Zeidler, who lives in Schwaig near Erding.
50 years after his grandfather's Olympic rowing gold at the 1972 Summer Games, he also wants to win in Oberschleißheim on Sunday.
Then 20-year-old Alexandra Föster, who surprisingly won the World Cup finals in Lucerne five weeks ago, is also hoping for a top place in the singles.
Like in 2019 and 2021, Zeidler is aiming for the European title.
"If you become European champion at your home track, you have to master all the preliminary races," said father and trainer Heino Zeidler.
He described what the new skulls mean: "It's like a tennis player who may not be hitting the line with his racket the way he wants to.
That's how it was with us in the run-up."
His daughter Marie-Sophie was allowed to compete in the women's quadruple sculls in the A final on Saturday.
In the success of Great Britain, the German boat took sixth and last place.