Letters of encouragement written by his friend Anna made Jonathan Hilbert cry during the exciting Friday walk. The 26-year-old from LG Ohra Energy gave an excellent number at the farewell event of the 50km walkers from the Olympic podium. 29 years after today’s national coach Ronald Weigel’s bronze conspiracy at the Olympics in Barcelona, ​​Hilbert wrote his own chapter in German walking history.

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In desperation, he held his head for the last few meters. After his tactical brilliant performance, when he heard about his brother, emotions overwhelmed him. “It’s special when you hear some handwritten words from your girlfriend”He said ARD With tears in his eyes. Every day they wear the mask for three or four hours. The pair, thousands of kilometers apart, opened their last letter together the evening before the big match in northern Japan. “It’s for you too, brother!”

It was the third German athletics medal at the Olympics in Tokyo, after gold and discus thrower Kristin Budens won silver for Malaika Mihambo in the long jump. “Crazy, I’m incredibly proud,” Hilbert said. National coach Weigel summarizes it emotionally: “It’s a wonderful sense of team joy. Words are hard to find. Jonathan did an incredible thing.”

At the end, Hilbert placed a flag in black, red and gold on his shoulders. In the end he was 36 seconds shorter than Olympic champion David Tomala (3:50:08). After finishing fourth in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Canadian Evan Dunfi (+51 seconds) won the bronze. Baden-Baden’s Carl Dohman was 33rd (+17: 10 minutes) and Nathaniel Seeler from Behlerdal was 42nd (+25: 29).

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After about five and a half hours of sleep, Hilbert immediately noticed when he woke up: “Today is a special day.” It then delivered a masterpiece at Sapporo, where marathon and walker medal fights were relocated for climatic reasons. Hilbert stayed at the decisive point in the chase team that was on the heels of the tall Domala.

Meanwhile, the pole was pulled forward three minutes. The Germans were in the middle of the fight for silver – with Mark Durr (Spain), Dunfi, Joao Vieira (Portugal) and Macedora Guano (Japan). From five, Dunfi had to go about five kilometers before the end, but Hilbert caught up. The newly formed quartet was later disbanded. Hilbert and Spaniard accelerated, sat down, and talked for a while. After all, Hilbert spoke.

I told him: We will work together. I saw him three or four times. But there was no reaction, “said Hilbert. Then I thought: You should take the magazine in your hands. “How! Two kilometers from the finish, Hilbert parted from the cold, and then his hat flew off. Now he stood at a distance and walked towards his silver felt.

It was a farewell event as the International Olympic Committee removed the 50km walk from the event. It is yet to be decided whether the 2024 Summer Games in Paris will include an abridged version of the 35km or a group race of 50km with two women and two men.

“Now it’s time to switch to 35km,” said national coach Weigel. “We have enough energy for athletes to win in 35 kilometers.”

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