Tales From The Tents

Q&A with Olli Zeidler, triple Diamond Challenge Sculls Champion and representative for Germany in the single sculls at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games


We sat down to chat with Olli Zeidler ahead of his fourth Diamond Challenge Sculls final this Sunday and gain an insight into the role Henley Royal Regatta has played in the German single sculler’s training.

What would it mean to win The Diamond Challenge Sculls at Henley Royal Regatta for the fourth time?

“It would mean a lot, the club becomes more and more exclusive the more you win. I am still unbeaten in The Diamond Challenge Sculls here at Henley and I hope I continue with that trend today.”

In the future, are there any other events at Henley Royal Regatta that you would like to be a competitor in?

“Well, I know if I win The Diamond Challenge Sculls today I would have four wins. Maybe two or three more would be nice. I need to see how the next few years go, and if I find a competitive partner for the double or join the quad for example.

This year, some German crews from the national team are coming here to race. I hope this trend continues and the German national team will use Henley Royal Regatta more and more as preparation for the big events like the World Championships or the Olympics.

But, let’s see. I don’t think this is the last time I will be here.”

How is Henley Royal Regatta playing a role in your Olympic Preparation?

“Rowing here is a lot of fun. I’ve realised that when I am happy I perform a lot better. Racing at Henley is a large part of my mental preparation for the Olympic Games.”

What keeps attracting you back to Henley Royal Regatta each year?

“It is definitely the case that it is very challenging to race here because you are out of your comfort zone. The head-to-head racing format means you are never racing against the timelike you are at a World Rowing event, so it is very mentally challenging.”

We have seen you racing at Henley Royal Regatta with feet that have a little more flexibility in their lateral movement; how did this come about?

“We have been working with biomechanics and tested this system. In testing, we realised I am more relaxed at the finish and my ankles are in a better position when there is a bit of movement.

Additionally, in rougher water, for example at Henley, the added movement is useful for adjusting pressure through the feet.”

Have you got to indulge in any of the fun Henley Royal Regatta has to offer? 

“It is very nice to dress up and come to watch some racing, especially when the sun comes out. My girlfriend’s teammates are here racing against another Swiss crew, so I will definitely enjoy getting to watch that.

Normally, I am a fan of having a drink after the Regatta and celebrating. However, of course with the Olympics coming up, I will need to hold myself back a bit!”



Henley Royal Regatta Press Team – hrr@thephagroup.com

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