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Germany sees 44 London medals as yardstick for Rio

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - The German team at the Summer Olympics in Brazil will measure itself against the 44 medals it won at the previous Games in London, Germany‘s Olympic sports director Dirk Schimmelpfennig said Wednesday.

At the same time, he tried to take pressure off his athletes by stressing that the medal count would not necessarily start ticking for Germany from the start of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, which officially get underway on Friday.

"The adding and analysis will be done at the end," Schimmelpfennig told reporters at the German House in Rio.

German media had lobbed heavy criticism at their national team early in the London Games after they failed to win a medal in the first four days. However, Germany ended up sixth on the London national medal count.

Even before Friday‘s opening ceremony, the German men‘s and women‘s football teams will start competing in Rio.

German judokas, shooters, cyclists, swimmers, divers and fencers will also be the first in line to take part in the Olympic competitions during the Games, which run until August 21.

Swimmer Paul Biedermann is seen as one of the first German athletes who could win in Rio, in the 200-metres freestyle race on Monday.

Biedermann came in third in this event in last year‘s world championships.

"But you won‘t be able to coax any medal targets from me," he said.

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