Between all her dates on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars”, Nina Druel (21) has already taken the award for Female Athlete of the Year for the third time. It may not be fourth place next year, because Druel’s next main target will only be in 2023. “I don’t know yet if I will go to the World Cup in 2022.”
Mark Cornelissen, Lorenz van Heuverswainsource: Belgian
Head coach Nina Druel (21 years old) has recently become more interested in dancing than gymnastics. “I’ve been more into it than gymnastics in recent weeks. When I look at those pictures from Tokyo, it feels like a long time ago. A lot of things have happened since then. The past few weeks have passed and suddenly the Sports Gala is really there, and I found out on Thursday that I haven’t had a prom dress yet. Fortunately I have a good design team.”
In that new dress, yesterday she took home her third Female Athlete of the Year title.
“However, you will never get used to it,” said the Tokyo gold medalist on the uneven bars. Certainly not because I didn’t expect it in all this time. The tension was between me and Nafie, and I came without expectations. But maybe that’s why this cup is the most beautiful. I have a lot of respect for Nafie. Two Olympic titles in a row: I’m not just going to copy it. It’s a shame that one only wins. What did you say to her? I congratulated her on her wonderful year and complimented each other on our dresses.”
With three titles, Druel is now on the same level as Thiam. Kim Clijsters and Ingrid Bergmans (eight times!) are still a long way off, but next year she could match Justin Henin. But this is not very likely, because Druel’s next target will be only in 2023: the World Cup in Antwerp. 2022 could be a transitional year.
“At the moment my goals are the World Cup in 2023 in Antwerp and then the Games in 2024 in Paris. I am not looking further. So I can’t say yet whether I will be here again next year. Looking at the level in Belgium, You might need a world title to be a favorite in a non-Olympic year. But for now I’ll focus on dancing and enjoy some more. Then I’ll see what race I’m ready for. Do I get an EC or not? (in red in August in Munich).? Will you reach the World Cup? (In November in Liverpool, in red.) or not?”
“I’m not going to push myself for something I don’t feel ready for at the time. I’m not a World Cup person just to compete. I have a certain standard to impose on myself. If it’s not within my means, I’d better not go. But I want to be at my best once and for all.” Another by the 2023 World Cup in Antwerp.”