128. Deutsche Meisterschaften, Berlin – German National Championships and Olympic Trials (Part 1), Berlin
- Thursday, May 5 – Sunday, May 8, 2016
- Prelims: 9 am local, Finals: 5 pm local, on Sunday: 4 pm local
- Schwimm- und Sprunghalle im Europa-Sportpark (SSE)
- Start lists
The 400 IM seems to be a thrilling final tonight at the German National Championships: Four swimmers stayed under the required prelims nomination time and have a chance to make it on the “long list”– a spot on this list is the first step to get a ticket to Rio: All swimmers who achieve the prelims and finals qualification standards will be part of the so called “long list” and must inform German Head Coach Henning Lambertz in the period of one week after German Nationals in which meet they want to confirm the required performance of the nomination process: at one of the three meets of the Mare Nostrum tour or the German Open. They can only choose ONE of these four possibilities. For this meet, other times are set which are approximately 1,5 % slower than those at German nationals. All swimmers who reach the times and have also finished first or second at the German National Championships will qualify for Rio.
Four men will have the chance to make it on the important long list tonight in the 400 IM: Jacob Heidtmann was the fastest in 4:14,95 followed by Philip Heintz in 4:17,30 (PB), Johannes Hintze in 4:17,35 and Kevin Wedel in 4:17,78. 17 year-old Hintze also set a new age group record – his personal best time even is faster in 4:16,58, set in 2015. Hintze’s coach is Norbert Warnatzsch whose most famous and successful swimmer is Olympic Champion Britta Steffen – he always emphasized they want to prepare Johannes carefully step by step to a world class swimmer. Prediction for the final: Heidtmann will attack his own German National Record of 4:12,08 – he set this record at the 2015 World Championships where he finished 5th. And perhaps Heintz and Hintze could follow him to reach the standard of 4:16,37.
Franziska Hentke swam a personal best time in the 400 IM in 4:41,43 – but this result is about 2,5 slower than the standard for tonight’s final of 4:38,96. Hentke will focus on her best event, the 200 m butterfly – she finished 4th at the World Championships and is the 2015 SC European Champion. But perhaps she will swim another personal best and could finish under 4.40.
The women’s 800 m freestyle and men’s 1500 m freestyle are swum in timed finals. Sarah Köhler is the top seed and normally the target time of 8:33,33 is no problem for her. On the men’s side Florian Wellbrock set the fastest German time in this event in the actual season – he must swim a 15:02,37 to get a chance to make the Rio team. He is in a steady form and his coach Bernd Berkhahn who also trains Franziska Hentke, has made great efforts with his swimmers in the last years. But also Ruwen Straub and Sören Meißner could have a chance to reach the standard – they did not show up very often at swim meets in the last months so it is difficult to make a prediction about their form.
At the end of the first session, the club relays took place: Florian Vogel finished as the start swimmer clearly under nomination standard (1:47,17), in the 200 m freestyle in 1:46,80 – a good start for him into the competition and a victory for his club Stadtwerke München in the 4 x 200 m freestyle relay.