The elite, sprint trio of the German National Team, Marco Di Carli, Steffen Deibler, and Markus Deibler, kicked off the international Short Course Meters season at the Hamburg Sprint Cup.
The biggest showdown was in the 100 free, where Steffen Deibler faced off against Di Carli in the final. Di Carli, you’ll recall, is the defending National Champion in the race, but is newfound to elite swimming. In this race, it was Deibler who took a dominant win in 48.22 ahead of Di Carli’s 49.08. Deibler’s time is the 4th-best in post-Worlds competition, behind a trio from Italian Short Course Nationals in August.
The pair showed down again in the 200 free, where Steffen Deibler has the better history, and he came out with a victory again, though it was a tighter race. Deibler this time took the win in 1:48.33, with Di Carli touching 2nd in 1:48.89.
Steffen Deibler was really on his game in the Sprint Cup. He also took wins in the 50 fly (23.71) and 50 back (24.80), the latter of which was a career-best for him.
Di Carli admitted after the meet that he was a bit disappointed in his primary events, but the same couldn’t be said for his peripheral races. Both the 200 IM (1:59.78) and the 200 free mentioned above were career-bests for him. He also had a solid swim in the 100 fly (53.58) to take a dominant victory there.
Markus Deibler didn’t get caught up in that head-to-head, game-within-the-game, but he did pick up a few wins of his own. In the 100 breaststroke, the best of his individual-stroke events, he won in 1:04.40. He also won the 100 IM, which is a race that he took silver in at the 2010 Dubai World Championships, in 56.03. There he was given a good push from 21-year old Niklas Hedegaard in that race, who touched just behind in 56.88. The younger Deibler didn’t have quite as good of a meet, overall, as either of his older country-mates, but at the least he got some good racing in and came away with some victories.
Hedegaard also had a good meet, so look out for him in the Olympic year. He put up a 28.86 to win the 50 breaststroke.
Jan-Philip Glania won the 100 back in a solid time of 54.18, making him the only swimmer to knock off one of the big three in a final (Di Carli was runner-up in 54.92).
Among other solid performances in the meet from Germany’s junior contingent were a 23.36 from 17-year old Kevin Nguyen to win the 50 free and 18-year old Max Claussen with a 25.87 in the 50 back.
The star of the women’s meet was 15-year old Kathrin Demler, who took six wins: 50 free, 100 fly, 100 back, 100 IM, 200 free, and 200 IM.