A majority of German swimmers are considering skipping the upcoming European Short-Course Swimming Championships in Israel due to security fears, it emerged at their national championships over the weekend.
â€œHonestly, for me, the risk just seems too great,â€ said Alexandra Wenk, a world bronze medalist who competes in the womenâ€™s 100-meter butterfly.
Wenk is among 13 of the 25 swimmers who do not want to go to Netanya for security reasons, according to the spokesman of the German Swimming Federation.
Even head coach Henning Lambertz said he was â€œnot hot to go out thereâ€ and that he would make a final decision closer to the event.
In contrast, stars like Paul Biedermann and Marco Koch expressed no fear.
â€œThe security in Israel will be good. Itâ€™s no more dangerous than anywhere else,â€ said Koch, the world menâ€™s 200-meter breaststroke champion, who secured his place in the competition by setting a new German record for the 400Ã—4 relay medley.
For Biedermann, the decision to go to Israel has nothing to do with security, but â€œessentially depends on my ability to swim fastâ€ during the qualifiers. Last season, the double 2009 world champion missed out on a medal at the World Short-Course Championships in Doha, Qatar, but clinched the bronze medal at the World Long-Course Championships in Kazan, Russia.
The German Swimming Federation said it will leave the choice to all swimmers and coaches.
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