Alexander Kunert on the hunt for Michael Gross‘s 29-year old German Record

by Daniela Kapser 0

October 17th, 2015 International, News

Alexander Kunert is the fastest German 200 m butterfly swimmer at the moment. He finished 14th  in the semifinals at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan in 1:57,29 minutes and swam with 1:57,28 minutes a new personal best time in the heats. The 19 year old, born in 1996, was the youngest semifinalist in the men’s 200 m butterfly competition in Kazan.

Alexander is a member of the 2015/2016 German B-squad and his goal is to make the German National Team for the 2016 Olympic Games. But he also hunts the German record in the 200 m butterfly, set by German swimming legend Michael Gross in 1986 in 1:56,24 minutes. With his height of 1,96 m (6’5’’) and his wingspan of 2,06 m (6’7’’), Kunert has the physical requirements of a butterfly world class swimmer. Michael Gross for example is 2,01 m (6’7’’) tall and he has a wingspan of 2,13 m (6’11’’), Michael Phelps in comparison stands 6-foot-4 and his wingspan is 6-foot-7.

In a video portrait about Alex, his grandfather Fritz Michel told the audience that his grandson stated during a TV broadcast of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney: “I also want to go to the Olympics. The Germans are not successful there in Sydney. Wait until I grow up – and then you will see:” Alexander aged four when he said this – and perhaps he has found with the sports of swimming a way to fulfill his longtime dream.

His greatest successes, in addition to the 14th place at the 2015 World Championships, are: He is the 2015 German Champion 2015 in the 200 m butterfly in 1.57,36 minutes. He finished second at last year’s German National Short Course Championships on the 200 m fly in 1:54,62 minutes and third in the 100 m butterfly in 52,15 seconds. The 19 year old won his first international medal at the 2014 Junior European Championships (LC) in Dordrecht/Netherlands on the 200 m butterfly in 1:58,92 – this was the third place on the podium.

Since 1 October 2015 Alexander Kunert is enrolled as a student in Berlin. He also trains at the Berlin Olympic swimming training base. Alex, as he is called, focuses entirely on his swimming career for Rio. He has joined many training camps with the German perspective team – an initiative of the German National head coach Henning Lambertz. The best German youngsters get special support if they are in this squad – the youngster’s team is on the road for about 15 weeks per year together. Alexander’s grandfather, his teammates and his coaches praise his ability to always work harder than others and that he has orientated his whole life to the sport. And he’s an athlete who sets high goals: “I want to join the Olympic Games 2016 and then or in 2020, I also will swim for a medal. That would be really a dream and I hope it will come true.”

You can find the video portrait of Lukas Großberger about Alexander Kunert here:

You could follow Alexander on twitter: @alexforrio

Or facebook Alexander Kunert
His website:


Date of birth: 1996/01/31
Training location: Berlin, Germany

Swim club: SV Gelnhausen 1924 e.V./Germany

Distances: 100 m, 200 m butterfly, 200 m freestyle

Height: 6’5’’

Biggest successes:

Member of the 2015/2016 German B-squad
14th place 200 m butterfly 2015 World Championships Kazan (LC) in 1:57,29

2015 German Champion (LC) in the 200 m butterfly

3rd at 2014 European Junior Championships in the 200 m butterfly

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