Florian Wellbrock

Florian Wellbrock is a competitive swimmer that represents for Germany internationally. He is a 2020 Olympic champion in open water and 2020 Olympic medalist in the 1500.

2016 Olympic Games

At the 2016 Rio games, Florian placed 32nd in the 1500 free with a time of 15:23.88.

2017 World Championships

Merely a year later, Florian greatly improved world standing, finishing in 17th in the 1500 at the world championships with a time of 15:07.43. He also made the final heat of the 800 (7:50.89), and placed 7th overall with a 7:52.27.

2018 European Championships

Wellbrock took the European championships by storm, upsetting 1500 favorites Mykhailo Romanchuk of Ukraine and Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy by touching first in the 1500. After swimming a 14:54.55 in prelims, a lifetime best by over 10 seconds, he dropped another 18+ seconds in finals to touch in 14:36.15, a new German record, just .73 ahead of Romanchuk. He followed his gold medal performance up with a bronze in the 800, going another personal best and German record of 7:45.60. He capped off his meet outside the pool, with a silver medal in the open water team relay.

2019 World Championships

Wellbrock started the 2019 World Champs off with yet another major win, this time in the individual 10k in open water. In a photo finish, Wellbrock touched .2 ahead of France’s Marc-Antoine Olivierearning his first ever international individual open water medal. Wellbrock came back in the pool with an upset of heavy favorites Greg Paltrinieri and Mykhailo Romanchuk to take the 1,500 crown in a time of 14:36.54, just off his personal best.

2019 Swammy Awards

After taking the 10k title at the world champs, Wellbrock earned the Open Water Male Swimmer of the Year Swammy Award.

2020 Olympic Games

Wellbrock started his 2nd Olympics in a much different way than his first. After easily moving through the heats of the 1500, Wellbrock swam out front in the final, leading for the majority of the race and only getting passed by USA’s Bobby Finke and Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk in the last 50. Regardless, he still touched for 3rd to earn his first Olympic medal, a bronze, at 14:40.91.

Just a few days after winning his first Olympic medal in the pool, Wellbrock became an Olympic champion, taking the top prize in the 10k open water event.

2021 Short Course World Championships

In Abu Dhabi, Wellbrock completed the distance sweep in the pool and open water, taking gold in the 1500 and 10k swim. In the 1500, the Olympic bronze medalist won in 14:06.88, breaking the world record in the event formerly held by Gregorio Paltrinieri. In the 10k, he once again asserted dominance, winning the event by over 2.5 seconds.

2022 World Championships

Wellbrock started his meet in the 800 free, where he came into the final as the 2nd seed out of prelims. He held that seed, swimming a strong race and only being beaten by the Olympic champion in the event, Bobby Finke. Wellbrock touched for silver in 7:39.63, a new German record.

Wellbrock once again touched just behind Finke in the 1500, except for this time they both touched behind Greg Paltrinieri’s 14:32.80. Wellbrock earned bronze with a 14:36.94, less than 1 second off his PB.

In the open water, Wellbrock racked up more hardware, earning gold in the 5k and open water team event as well as bronze in the 10k.


In December 2020, Wellbrock became engaged to fellow German distance star Sarah Köhler. Both Köhler and Wellbrock won bronzes in the 1500 free at the 2020(1) Tokyo Olympic Games. The two married in early 2022, tying the knot in their native Germany. 

2023 Berlin Open (Berlin, German)

Wellbrock shaved 2 seconds off his 1500 free PB with a swift 14:34.89. Wellbrock’s swim overtook Dan Wiffen’s 14:31.91 to top the world rankings to that point. That also moved Wellbrock to #4 all-time in the 1500 free. In the 800, Wellbrock, Lukas Martens, Mykhailo Romanchuk and Sven Schwarz battled it out with all easily clearing the World Aquatics ‘A’ standard. The 4 were less than a second apart at the 400 and remained close to the finish, with the 4 separated by about 2 seconds. Martens won with a 7:42.14 while Wellbrock was 7:42.99, Schwarz was 7:43.43 and Romanchuk was 7:44.27. Those times marked 4 of the top 6 times in the world to that point in the season. 

2023 World Aquatics Championships (Fukuoka, Japan)

Wellbrock dominated the 10k, bouncing back from his bronze finish at the 2022 edition of these championships. He was definitive at the finish, touching 18 seconds ahead of runner-up Kristof Rasovszky of Hungary with a 1:50:40.30. His top-3 finish secured Wellbrock a spot at the Paris Olympics in the 10k. Wellbrock made it 2-for-2 in the 5k, winning by just over 4 seconds, touching in 53:58.0 with Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri coming in right behind with a time of 54:02.5. Wellbrock’s individual sweep, paired with Leonie Beck’s sweep on the women’s side, made German 4-for-4 in individual open water races.

His efforts at Worlds made Wellbrock the clear winner for the 2023 Swammy Award for the Open Water Male Swimmer.

Wellbrock struggled to match his open water success in the pool, with the pool portion coming after open water swimming in the schedule. Wellbrock placed 9th in the 800 free (7:45.87) and 20th in the 1500 free (15:10.33). 

International Medals

Place Event Year Meet
Gold 10000 Open Water 2020 Olympic Games
Bronze 1500 Free 2020 Olympic Games
Gold 1500 Free 2019 World Championships
Gold 10000 Open Water 2019 World Championships
Gold 5000 Open Water 2022 World Championships
Gold 5000 Freestyle Relay 2022 World Championships
Silver 800 Free 2022 World Championships
Bronze 1500 Free 2022 World Championships
Bronze 10000 Open Water 2022 World Championships
Gold 1500 Free 2021 Short Course World Championships
Gold 10000 Open Water 2021 Short Course World Championships
Gold 1500 Free 2018 European Championships
Silver 5000 Mixed Free Relay 2018 European Championships
Bronze 800 Free 2018 European Championships
Silver 5000 Mixed Free Relay 2020 European Championships
Bronze 10000 Open Water 2020 European Championships
Gold 1500 Free 2021 Short Course European Championships
Silver 800 Free 2021 Short Course European Championships
Gold 5000 Free 2023 World Championships
Gold 10000 Free 2023 World Championships

Best Times

Course Event Time Date Meet
lcm 800 Free 7:39.63 06/21/22 2022 World Championships
Budapest, Hungary
lcm 1500 Free 14:34.89 04/21/23 2023 Berlin Open
Berlin, Germany
scm 1500 Free 14:06.88 12/21/21 2021 Short Course World Championships
Abu Dhabi, UAE
2018 European Championship Glasgow - courtesy of Giusy Cisale swimswam.com Florian Wellbrock - photo by Daniela Kapser WELLBROCK Florian GER Gold Medal ROMANCHUK Mykhaylo UKR Silver Medal PALTRINIERI Gregorio ITA Bronze Medal 1500m Freestyle Men Final Glasgow 05/08/18 Swimming Tollcross International Swimming Centre LEN European Aquatics Championships 2018 European Championships 2018 Photo Andrea Staccioli/ Deepbluemedia /Insidefoto Florian Wellbrock at German National Championships 2015, by Mirko Seifert WELLBROCK Florian GER Gold Medal 1500m Freestyle Men Finals Glasgow 05/08/18 Swimming Tollcross International Swimming Centre LEN European Aquatics Championships 2018 European Championships 2018 Photo Andrea Staccioli/ Deepbluemedia /Insidefoto (courtesy of Tim Binning/TheSwimPictures.com) Florian Wellbrock, Marc-Antioine Olivier, Rob Muffels 2019 FINA World Championship Gwangju courtesy of Rafael Domeyko