Back from Bad Münder: Interview with Achim Braungart Zink
25 Oct 2013 at 20:05 | Published by: Hans | Views: 8440 | News search
ABZ is congratulated by Filiph Svensson after winning the sudden death for the stroke play title (Photo by Martin Becker 2013)
Interview with Achim Braungart-Zink (ABZ), Germany and SG Arheilgen
This interview was done the 25th of October 2013. Interviewer is Hans Bergström (HB).
HB: First of all congratulations to a great season of 2013 and the World Championship title in Bad Münder in team and stroke play. You were once again very successful as you were also in Porto last year. Can you compare the two championships 2012 and 2013 with each other?
ABZ: 2012 and 2013 were two completely different championships for me. In 2012 I had much time to prepare and played the whole season with a quite good performance.
This year was different. Because of my surgery in March and the back problems before I didn’t play minigolf for quite 6 months and even missed the first Bundesliga match. I wasn’t sure about my level of performance, recognized some technical problems in the first tournaments and so I had to work a lot to get a level of performance that was good enough for an international championship.
HB: How was the feeling to play at home on a big Championship?
ABZ: It was great. I dreamed of a WC in my home country since 2003, when I missed the nomination very close and did a job as coach. The atmosphere was great and I wanted to experience this as player. So I enjoyed it very much.
HB: Looking back on the team play in Bad Münder. The German was behind Sweden after the first day. What was the feeling in the team after this first day?
ABZ: We were quite motivated and confident, because we knew, what we played in the practice days and we knew, that we would be able to increase our performance. But of course we were a bit upset, because we couldn’t show the results, that we wanted to.
HB: What was in your opinion the main reason for your success to turn the situation into team gold on the second day?
ABZ: We just focused on us and our best game. Everyone was motivated and confident enough to increase his performance and also we didn’t want to disappoint us and our “fans” around the course.
HB: This was the first time that the Swedish men did not win the team gold in a Championship played on felt-eternit. Was this something that you focused on wanting to change in the German team?
ABZ: Of course we all knew about this fact, but we didn’t focus on that. It was World Championships, the highest international tournament, and it was in our home country. So I think besides all facts it is normal for a team and its athletes, that you want to win. That was the focus.
HB: At what stage in the team competition did you start thinking that the gold was secured?
ABZ: In my last round I didn’t really know the correct standings and when I had finished lane 18 I was a bit nervous about that fact, but as I saw the results on my iPad, I felt, that this gold was ours.
HB: And then over to the stroke play final. It was in the end a really thriller with Filiph Svensson chasing from behind and also Ulf Kristiansson involved in the battle for gold for a long while. Can you tell us about your thoughts on the last laps?
ABZ: I didn’t have thoughts about the standings our even about winning during the rounds. Of course some people talked to me and my chances in the breaks, but I kept relaxed, because after my surgery, I felt, that I reached more, that I could expect. So I just focused on playing on and have fun.
HB: How could you keep your nerves steady in the sudden death play-off against Filiph?
ABZ: To be honest. After lane 18 I had to go to toilet and in these moments I realized, that I had silver secured. And again, that was more, that I could expect after this year. Than I thought, that it was my turn on lane 1, because, we had a good rate on this lane and I didn’t have an ace the last two rounds. These two points made me quite relaxed and I managed just to make a good shot. That’s it, but I think, that it was helpful to be the first to play.
HB: Have your gold been noticed in Germany after the tournament?
ABZ: Yes, there were some local newspapers and one TV-station, that reported about my success.
HB: Then you lost in the second match in the match play against team mate Marco Templin. Was this a big disappointment?
ABZ: No, absolutely not. At the evening of the the strokeplay I realized for the first time, that my body felt really tired. For me these two weeks were hard work and only 5 months after the surgery I didn’t have the stamina, that I normally have. I enjoyed the days of success and I felt, that it was right, that Marco won. I really granted Marco this win and at the end the bronze medal.
HB: Then your team mate in Arheilgen, Dennis Kapke went on to win the gold in match play. I guess you had some celebrations coming back to the club, or?
ABZ: All of our team and club members on Arheilgen were happy and celebrating, and we had some beer at the evening of the first practice day of the first Bundesliga match after the WC. It was a nice evening. I’m very proud of Dennis!!!
HB: Looking back on Bad Münder and your success. Which is the moment you remember the most now a month later?
ABZ: There are two big moments. The first was the win of the team gold and the celebrating with the spectators after Dennis’ last shot.
The second moment I remember is a moment after my stroke play gold, when my mom came to me for congratulation. It was the first time that she saw me playing in a big international tournament. She had so much fun during the days in Bad Münder and I really enjoyed her hug in this moment. I was quite special.
HB: You were also quite involved in the media work before the games. Could you manage to keep away from that work during the games?
ABZ: No I could not, although my team (Thanks to everyone of the media team!!!) did a great job. But I is not my nature to do nothing and so I had been in the media container sometimes just to make some things and support the team. But that was only “for fun”. I never felt, that I had to do it, because the team kept my back free because of their great work.
HB: Will we be seeing equally much of you in the 2014 season?
ABZ: I hope so and I will give my best.
HB: Again a big congratulation to the World Championship titles and good luck in the future.
ABZ: Thank you and thanks to the readers. I wish everyone nice christmas days. See you again in 2014!