Britta Steffen’s return to superstardom seems to be about complete, after taking off the 2010 long course season, with her victory in the 100 free at the German Short Course Championships, which began yesterday in Wuppertal.
Steffen won the women’s 100 free in 52.00 today, which nips Missy Franklin (from the Berlin World Cup where she was absolutely on fire) for the best time in the world this year. That by half-a-second clears Steffen’s best time this season, and is the fastest she’s been in textile in her career.
She won the race by more than a second against a highlight field that included Daniela Schreiber (53.11) and Silke Lippok (53.77).
Steffen’s performance was by far the highlight of the 2nd night of competition, with the rest of the competition appearing to be swimming on some heavy training. The women’s 100 breaststroke was won by Sarah Poewe in 1:06.60, but further down the standings, two National Age Group Records were broken. Laura Simon broke the mark for 17-year olds in 1:06.84 to place 3rd overall, and Margarethe Hummel took down a record more than a decade old in 1:07.71 (by almost three seconds).
Paul Biedermann had decent splitting, but was not too swift, in the 200 free to win in 1:44.06. He went out in a 50.7 and came back in 53.3. Still, he was more than a second-and-a-half faster at the Berlin World Cup stop.
Dorothea Brandt is typically at her best in the breaststroke and freestyle sprint events, but so far this short course season she’s toyed with the 50 fly as well. On the back half of back-to-back races (with the 100 breast, where she was 5th) Brandt posted a decent 26.55 to win the butterfly sprint event. That time’s not her best of the season, but on two swims in about 15 minutes, that’s a solid result. The 2nd-place finisher was 18-year old Paulina Schmiedel of Essen in 26.56, just .01 away from the win. That left her only .02 away from an age-group record.
18-year old Christian Diener took the men’s 50 backstroke in 24.03 (he’s been faster this year). That left him just ahead of the much-more veteran, 33-year old Stefan Herbst in 24.19. Marco di Carli took 3rd in 24.49.
Marco Koch, who is $30,000 richer after placing 3rd at the World Cup Series, showed the signs of a 7-meet, cross-globe travel trip in the men’s 100 breaststroke. He won in 59.44, but has been faster this season. Considering the travel schedule he’s been through since October, that time is actually surprisingly strong. Steffen Deibler also just barely missed his season-best time to win the 50 fly in 23.00.
Open water star Isabelle Haerle won the women’s 800 free in the best textile time of her career in 8:24.40.