After extreme disappointment at both the 2012 Olympics in London, winning no medals in the pool and at the 2013 FINA World Championships, winning only one medal in the pool (Marco Koch silver 200 breaststroke) the German Swimming Federation has raised the expectations for their athletes to earn the right to represent their country at the LCM European Championships in Berlin.
According to swim.de (Swim magazine) athletes must now achieve qualifying standards four times to be chosen for the German team. These qualifying times must be posted at two competitions. The first being the German Championships in Berlin which will be held from May 1st-4th and the second being a competition in Essen July 17th-20th.
There will be different qualifying standards that German swimmers must post in the heats and the finals. In the heats swimmers must be faster than the 24th place finish in Barcelona and in the final they must be faster than the 16th place finish.
An example in the men’s 100 freestyle would be that a swimmer must swim 49.70 or faster in the heats and then 49.39 or faster in the finals.
One part of the rationale behind this decision is that German swimmers have performed world class times at the German Championships, which preceded both the Olympics and the World Championships, but were not able to repeat those performances when it counted on the international stage.
“Our swimmers must be able to obtain top performance several times a year,” said National Team Head Coach Henning Lambertz.
“This can of course mean that the team will be smaller.”
Numbers is something that the Germans are willing to sacrifice in their hopes of boosting their performances on their home soil at the European Championships next summer.