The German team can look forward to a medal in the first decision of the water jumpers at the World Championships after the Patrick Hausding era. The happy Timo Barthel still has a lot planned.

Immediately after surfacing, Lars Rüdiger and Timo Barthel hugged at the edge of the pool in the Duna Arena. The synchronized jumpers already knew that they couldn’t take the bronze medal from the three-meter diving board at the World Championships in Budapest.

A little later they were casually answering journalists’ questions, while in the background high diver Christina Wassen was waiting for her friend Lars to hug him with tears of joy in her eyes.

This medal right at the start of the jumping competitions came as a complete surprise. The duo have only been training together since December. Rüdiger’s former partner, record European champion Patrick Hausding, had ended his career.

Patrick Hausding, who was an icon, a role model for a whole generation of water jumpers in Germany, and whose footsteps seem to be endless. And which Barthel climbed into and filled out “at least a little” in the first World Cup competition, as national coach Lutz Buschkow put it.

Barthel: “Simply unbelievable”

“That probably sounds a bit strange now, but I used to say ‘Patrick Hausding’ to myself during the jumps. Because for me he has always been the calmest and coolest jumper I know. And that slowed me down in the competition, that I could focus better. That lowered my nervousness, »said the 26-year-old – and his words sounded something like reverence for his former jumping partner.

After all, Barthel managed something with Rüdiger that Hausding had never managed: a world championship medal in synchronized diving from the three-meter board. There was bronze at the Olympics in Tokyo, but never at world title fights. “I think I haven’t been able to sleep for two weeks because I always dream of this medal. And now to have done that with Lars is simply unbelievable for me, »reported Barthel.

He now no longer feels any great pressure to succeed in his further appearances at the World Cup. “I still have a wild ride ahead of me: synchronized jumping from the tower, the team event, the one-meter board and the individual from the tower. But I can now go into the competitions more relaxed, »said Barthel.