Swimming: Germans delegating 14 swimmers to Budapest
Only seven swimmers could qualify for the World Championships at the nationals in Berlin two weeks ago. Yet, according to the decision by the Federation 14 swimmers will be delegated to Budapest. World champion Marco Koch did not manage to qualify, still he will have his place in the team attending the tournament in Budapest.
The most surprising result at the nationals was undoubtedly that of Marco Koch. Better said, champion of men’s 200m breaststroke in Kazan caused some disappointment this time. Although he won his main event and defended his title, yet his time (2:08.69) did not reach the World Champs qualification standard. No wonder, he was more than a second slower than his national record set 3 years ago. World Championships without the world champion?
Photo: Marco Koch/Facebook
Henning Lambertz, German national head coach considers Marco Koch’s case a special one. Not only because he is the prevailing world champion but also because of the key role the 27-year-old breaststroker has in the team. Although he could not meet the qualification standard, Lambertz highlighted that 3 years ago he had not swum that good. „We have adopted a new style in which power dominates and we have made some other changes as well, that is why I am not yet fast enough” – explained Koch after the heat.
At the tournament only 6 out of 6 relays complied with qualification criteria. Strictly speaking no women’s relay meets such standards and only one, the medley relay of men conforms to World Championships standards.
Obviously, there are some achievements to be highlighted: in men’s 200m medley Philip Heintz swam the best time of the season (01:55.76), and excluding the shark suit period only three swimmers have achieved better results so far (Lochte, Phelps, Hagino). By this Heintz breached the record of László Cseh (1:56.22) in textile at the London Olympics, which had been registered as the continental record before, thus the prevailing record is of the 26-year-old German swimmer now. Also, it means that Philip Heintz shall be considered a favourite at the World Championships in Budapest this summer. This made him joke around right after his blast:
„Now is the time to finish swimming. Before the race I told myself if I manage to touch in 1:55, I will stop swimming. I managed to do so!”
New German record in women’s 200m backstroke was set by Lisa Graf in 2:07.63 and she qualified for the World Championships to be held in Budapest. This is the 5th best result this year.
16-year old Celine Rieder secured her place in the delegation by achieving 8:33.03 in 800m freestyle, yet he finished only second. The winner, Sarah Köhler (8:29.97) is even younger so she will enter the Age-Group World Championships instead.
In the end the German Swimming Federation decided to delegate a total of 14 athletes to the World Championships in Budapest. Concerning women, Aliena Schmidtke is also included. Although she finished a few tenths slower than the German record, with her the 4x100m mixed relay team can enter, which claimed bronze in Kazan 2 years ago.
The German national roster for the World Championships consists of:
Women (4): Franziska Hentke, Lisa Graf, Celine Rieder, Aliena Schmidtke.
Men (10): Philip Heintz, Clemens Rapp, Damian Wierling, Poul Zellmann, Marco Koch, Christian vom Lehn, Marek Ulrich, Florian Wellbrock, Marius Kusch, Jacob Heidtmann.
(Swimmers in bold reached the World Championships standard.)