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Interview: German Nordic combined coach looks forward to Beijing 2022******
By Oliver Trust。
BERLIN, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Hermann Weinbuch might fancy to call himself a passionate golfer and a fanatic footballer. To the public, the 61-year-old is known as Germany's reliable title and medal deliverer in his job as head coach for the country's Nordic combined athletes.。
In 26 years, the athletes of the three times World Champion won 49 medals at World Championships and Olympics. Gold in the Team Gundersen and both individual Gundersen events in 2018 stands for what he calls an "event of the century".。
The 2022 Beijing games will be the coaches' tenth Olympic outing. In Weinbuch's perspective, he this time finds himself ahead of challenging and particular competition.。
"We will experience perfectly organized events including outstanding venues," Weinbuch told Xinhua in an interview.。
But due to the effects of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, "we will see a lot of the Olympic flair being lost. Therefore, I expect well-oiled games but run in a rather sober and strict atmosphere. We all will miss enthusiastic fans supporting the athletes."
The German coach called the Beijing Winter Olympics a journey into the unknown. "It appears like a black-box," as venues and conditions are mainly new. Mixed feelings remain due to the circumstances, he said.。
Because the A-team is attending European World Cups, a B-team will participate in a continental cup run in Beijing in advance of the Games.。
Weinbuch hopes to receive detailed information about the venues' characteristics. German athletes might use 3-D goggles for filming.。
"Most modern venues have similar characteristics. In Sochi 2014 it was the same, we didn't know much about the venues before," the coach stated.。
Weinbuch announced to rely on similar patterns for preparation "as we concentrate on our team building and mental state" to compete successfully in an extremely challenging sport combining cross-country skiing and jumping.。
Weinbuch called it close to impossible to repeat the 2018 success as "four years in top sports are an eternity." He mentioned, the German team is containing a large group of experienced athletes trying to win a medal in every competition.。
"You have to preserve some calmness and use your gained knowledge to perform successfully," the German added.。
Developing a strong team might take longer than in any other sport. "Nordic combination is a team event; you have to feel well as a group," he said.。
Next to technical issues, an empathic approach is essential.。
"A successful coach must trigger emotions, primary instincts and select athletes who have skills in all sectors. Every athlete might need a particular approach to reach his highest level," Weinbuch commented. Enditem。
EU bars 7 Russian banks from SWIFT, but spares those in energy******
A picture taken on February 25 shows the headquarters of SWIFT, Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, in La Hulpe (Terhulpen), near Brussels.
The European Union said on Wednesday it was excluding seven Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system, but stopped short of including those handling energy payments, in the latest sanctions imposed on Russia over its military operation in Ukraine.
Russia's second-largest bank VTB, Bank Otkritie, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Bank Rossiya, Sovcombank and VEB will each be given 10 days to wind-down their SWIFT operations, the EU said in its official journal.
SWIFT is the dominant messaging system underpinning global financial transactions and the EU, the United States, Britain and Canada moved on Saturday to block certain Russian banks from it, but had not said which would be hit.
The United States and Britain had been pushing for the SWIFT ban, but some in the eurozone had taken some persuading given the region's reliance on Russian energy exports.
SWIFT said in a statement that it would disconnect the seven Russian banks from their network on March 12, as required by EU regulations.
A senior EU official said the banks were chosen based on their connections to the Russian state, with public banks already sanctioned after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Sberbank, Russia's largest lender, and Gazprombank were not included because they are the main channels for payments for Russian oil and gas, which EU countries are still buying despite the conflict in Ukraine.
The EU official added that these two Russian banks were nevertheless subject to other measures.
Officials have been concerned about disrupting energy flows to Europe and the official said it was not possible simply to allow energy-related transactions and exclude others as SWIFT was unable to differentiate between types of payments.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said the decision to exclude Sberbank and Gazprombank from sanctions due to "transactions related to energy supplies to the EU" was unacceptable.
Banks could still carry out transfers through workarounds such as faxes or bilateral messaging systems, if they existed.
VEB said it was largely focused on domestic projects which were unaffected. For overseas-related businesses, it would use SPFS, a messaging system developed by Russia's central bank.
Sovcombank said SWIFT would not impact it because other sanctions had already blocked its ability to make overseas payments. Promsvyazbank said it was prepared for the disconnection from SWIFT and it would not have a significant impact on the bank's operations.
VTB and Otkritie said they would not be impacted.
Novikombank and Bank Rossiya did not respond to requests for comment.