Taranu: Germans Ready to Take on Worlds
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German gymnast Thomas Taranu told IG that, despite injuries to two of its star gymnasts, his team is confident for Tuesday's qualifications at the world championships in Rotterdam.

German gymnast Thomas Taranu told IG that, despite injuries to two of its star gymnasts, his team is confident for Tuesday's qualifications at the world championships in Rotterdam.

"The atmosphere on our team is really good," said the 23-year-old Taranu. "We are all buddies and like each other. We are well prepared, and we want to put everything into our competition."

Germany, the defending world bronze medalist from 2007, will compete Tuesday evening in the 10th and final subdivision of men's qualification.

Taranu said the Germans are coping well in Rotterdam with the absence of reigning national all-around champion Marcel Nguyen and the limited performances expected from 2007 world all-around silver medalist Fabian Hambüchen. Nguyen fractured his right fibula Sept. 24, and Hambüchen has been hampered by a sore Achilles' tendon.

"You can't replace these two athletes in the all-around competition," Taranu said. "With Fabian and Marcel out of the all-around, we lost a bit of our assurance. Sebastian Krimmer on floor and I on high bar will try to compensate for this loss. Everybody on our team has enough self-confidence, and we have a great team spirit to manage this."

Other members of the German roster in Rotterdam are Philipp Boy, Matthias Fahrig, Eugen Spiridonov and Andreas Bretschneider. Hambüchen, Boy, Fahrig, Spiridonov and Nguyen earned Germany the team title at this spring's European championships in Birmingham.

Taranu, who competed at the 2009 Worlds in London that did not include a team event, said he is ready for his teammates to rely on him in Rotterdam.

"It's a different kind of pressure to be part of a team," he said. "In London I fought only for my own success. Here, I have to fight for the whole team. That's why the pressure is stronger for me. I don't want to disappoint my buddies."

Although Germany has performed consistently in training thus far in Rotterdam, Taranu said, the real test of the team's unity and confidence will come in Tuesday's qualifications.

"Everybody on our team has to perform as well as in training," he told IG. "We are real team players, so we will help and support each other at all times in the competition. But if we want to be on top, we really have to hit every routine."

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