14 Year Old Johannes Hintze Swims Second-Fastest Time In History For The 400 IM

On the first day of the German National Swimming Championships in Berlin 14 year old Johannes Hintze recorded an astonishing time of 4:23.63 in the men’s 400 IM, finishing fifth in the event. Not only did he destroy the German age group mark in the event, but he became the second-fastest 14 year old to ever swim the event.

At the same age Michael Phelps recorded a 4:24.77, Keita Sunama of Japan posted a 4:24.91 while Ian Thorpe‘s best was a 4:26.42. The only faster time appears to be Great Britain’s Matt Johnson, who went 4:23.51 at the British Gas Championships back in 2010, just a few weeks shy of his 15th birthday.

(Edit: an earlier version of this article ranked Hintze as the fastest 14-year-old in history, but the story has been updated to reflect Johnson’s 2010 time, which was faster).

Hintze, who swims for the Potsdamer Swim Club and is coached by Thomas Luckau, does not turn 15 until July 9th.

This is an unbelievable swim for Hintze as the fastest time that he has recorded to this point in his young career was a 4:33.52.

Yannick Lebherz took the men’s 400 IM in a time of 4:15.34. Lebherz was never challenged in the race, finishing three seconds under the qualifying standard for the European Championships that will be held this summer in Berlin. 

Lebherz was quite far off his German record time of 4:12.47 which he posted last year at this same competition. His time puts him fourth among European men this year with Roberto Pavoni of Great Britain leading the way with a 4:12.24 followed by Italian Frederico Turrini with a 4:14.58 and Hungarian David Verraszto with a 4:14.91.

Jacob Heidtmann finished second in the race recording a time of 4:18.86 followed by Kevin Wedel who finished in a time of 4:20.93.

Hintze finished first among junior competitors followed Moritz Brandt who recorded a 4:29.09 and Ramon Klenz who finished in a time of 4:33.50.

Franziska Hentke pulled out a win in the women’s 400 IM touching the wall in a time of 4:44.14. Hentkze pulled even with Alexandra Wenk, who took a strong lead in the backstroke and eventually past Wenk to take the event. It is a lifetime best for Hentke who put up a 4:44.99 earlier this year.

Wenk finished second in a time of 4:45.61 followed by Finnia Wunram who recorded a time of 4:45.86.

Julia Mrozinski was the fastest of the junior women posting a time of 5:00.74 followed closely by Anna Fehlinger who touched in a time of 5:00.79. It was have been a great race to watch except Mrozinski swam in the B-final while Fehlinger was in the C-final. Lea Boy was third in a time of 5:04.51.

Sarah Kohler and Leonie Antonia Beck battled it out for the women’s 800 freestyle title the two hit the half way point five tenths of a second a part. Kohler increased her lead slightly holding Beck at bay and finishing in a time of 8:34.42 just under her previous life time best of 8:34.72. Beck finished second in a time of 8:35.51.

Patricia-Lucia Wartenberg finished third in a time of 8:43.49.

Soeren Meissner won the men’s 1500 freestyle in a time of 15:13.44. Rob Muffels finished second in a time of 15:19.77 followed by Clemens Rapp who took the bronze in a time of 15:20.76.

Full results can be found here

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thomaslurzfan
8 years ago

I dont know if its the right place to write it, but Hintze yesterday participated also in 50 breast and 50 fly. 50 breast: 29:57 (just 0.04 slower than age group record, although breast is his weakest stroke), 50 fly: 25:04 (new age group record, the old one was 25:16). Today he will swim the 200 IM and maybe hell be able to improve his time from last year (2:05), although i wouldnt be surprised, if he would have a weaker race, because he already had 6 races (in total 1km) at the first two days.

Kussatz
Reply to  thomaslurzfan
8 years ago

ich kenne J. Hintze seit vielen Jahren und wenn sein Aufbau weiter so läuft werdet ihr alle. Noch eine Menge von ihm Hören. Wichtig ist erst einmal nur das er weiter optimale Trainingsbedingungen hat und die Gesundheit stimmt. Dann kann man weiter sehen

thomaslurzfan
8 years ago

Thats also very impressing, but i think we all agree that normally height is a pretty big plus in swimming. Its interesting that both him and Hagino are better in events where you have to have a great amount of endurance, maybe height is only really important in sprint events and the longer the distance gets the less important height becomes.

thomaslurzfan
8 years ago

Of course Hagino wasnt at his peak with 4:21, because then we today wouldnt be talking about him and of course there are a lot of swimmers who are only good in youth rankings, because they are bigger then the other swimmers in their age group. I just wanted to say that i think that Hagino grew less (im comparison with his height), from the time he was 14 until today, then most of the other great swimmers, so he improved less in this periode of time. In addition to that i think thats a very common thing with japanese swimmers, if you consider how many of them had unbelievable times in their youth and then just disappeared (i think… Read more »

Rafael
Reply to  thomaslurzfan
8 years ago

Thomas

Ricardo Prado, former WR Holder of 400 IM had only 1,68m!

thomaslurzfan
8 years ago

I dont think that you can really compare Hintzes time with Haginos time, because japanese swimmers stop earlier to grow and reach their peak earlier than swimmers from the US or Europe.

TJ
Reply to  thomaslurzfan
8 years ago

But Hagino was clearly not at his peak when he went 4:21 at 14. He has been 4:07.

lane 0
Reply to  thomaslurzfan
8 years ago

While I don’t doubt that the Japanese tend to stop growing earlier. There are plenty of swimmers who pretty much stop growing (at least in height) by 14 or even earlier.

either way that’s a ten second drop from his previous best time.

thomaslurzfan
8 years ago

Hintze had 4:33:52 last year as a 13 yo, so only 0:23 slower than Hagino. As a 12 yo he went 4:44:82, so only 0:15 slower than Johnson. His best races are probably 100 fly, 200 free and 200/400 IM and his weakest races are 100/200 breast. Hintze went 1:59 in 200 IM earlier this season in SCM, so i hope he can maybe swim about 2:03 this year. Today at the german championships Paul Biedermann will swim the 400 free and i hope he will be faster than 3:50 at least.

Scuba Steve
8 years ago

By the way, I think Matthew Johnson does hold the best time for 12 yo in the 400IM (4:44.67), together with the 800 and 1500 free records for 12yo. Hagino was 4:33.29 as fastest 13yo for 400IM

Scuba Steve
8 years ago

Yep, April 2009 in the Japan open Hagino went 4:21.85. He was born in August 1994, so was still 14 at the time.

Scuba Steve
8 years ago

I have Hagino at 4:21.85 at 14

About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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