German Olympic team smallest since reunification
BERLIN (AP) - Germany will bring its smallest Olympic team since reunification in 1990 to the London Games.
The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) said Thursday it will have about 380 athletes competing in 23 of 26 sporting disciplines, compared to 440 in China four years ago.
"The aim is still to reach fifth place in the medals table,'' DOSB general secretary Michael Vesper said, 57 days before the Olympics begin on July 27.
Germany claimed 16 gold, 10 silver and 15 bronze medals in 2008.
The confederation announced 85 athletes who will compete in 11 events in London. The rest of the team will be revealed on June 25 and July 4.
"Under the motto `We for Germany' our athletes will represent Germany in a likable and successful manner in the toughest Olympic competition ever,'' DOSB president Thomas Bach said. "The anticipation of London is growing. You have the feeling now it's really taking off.''
Beijing gold-medal winners Britta Heidemann, Benjamin Kleibrink and Ole Bischof were among those selected.
London organizing committee chairman Sebastian Coe met Bach and other DOSB officials in Frankfurt.
"There is an unprecedented appetite among elite level competitors around the world to get to London,'' said Coe, a two-time Olympic gold medalist.