German Olympic Trials Day 3 Finals Live Recap

2021 German Olympic Trials — Berlin

Today is the last day of the German Olympic Trials in Berlin and the last day of the German qualification period. Today’s finals will see swimmers competing in the 200 breaststroke, 200 backstroke, men’s 1500 freestyle, women’s 800 freestyle, 200 IM and the 50 freestyle.

At the end of the session there will be a time trial in the 200 butterfly. Ramon Klenz, who was diagnosed in January with COVID-19, missed the Olympic cut by .34 seconds last night. He has been granted an extra opportunity to qualify.

For Jessica Steiger, the German record holder in the 200 breaststroke, today was her last chance to qualify for Tokyo. In a Facebook post this morning, she announced that she would not be swimming today and will be focusing on next month’s European Championships.

In this morning’s prelims session, Christian Diener swam under the qualification time in the 200 backstroke by .01 seconds. Diener finished 7th in Rio in this event. In the same event this morning, Ole Braunschweig was trying to get the cut in the 100 backstroke over the first half of the race. His time of 53.74 was just over the cut time of 53.70 and he finished the event in 2:40.00 We will be watching to see if he tries for the cut again tonight.

Jacob Heidtman was the last swimmer to make an Olympic cut this morning. His time of 1:59.25 in the 200 IM was a new best for him and under the qualification time of 1:59.40.

Max Pilger will be looking to make the Olympic cut tonight in the 200 breaststroke. The distance events should be a treat as we will see Florian Wellbrock and Lukas Märtens go head-to-head in the 1500 freestyle. The women’s 800 will see Celine Rieder, Sarah Köhler, and Isabel Gose battle it out.

200M Breaststroke Men – Final

  • German Record: Marco Koch, 2:07.47
  • German Olympic Qualification Time: 2:09.90 (already qualified: Marco Koch)
  • European Championship Qualification Time: 2:11.50

Top 3

  1. Marco Koch – 2:10.28
  2. Max Pilger – 2:10.63
  3. Yannis Willim – 2:12.22

Pilger was first at the 50 in 29.36 followed by Koch at 29.79. Pilger held the lead through the second 50 and touched the halfway mark at 1:02.82 with Koch right behind at 1:02.92. Koch pulled ahead on the third 50 and held on to finish in 2:10.28. Koch is already qualified for Tokyo and Pilger, while dropping time from this morning, was unable to hit the qualification time.

200M Breaststroke Women – Final

  • German Record: Jessica Steiger, 2:25.00
  • German Olympic Qualification Time: 2:24.90
  • European Championship Qualification Time: 2:27.80

Top 2

  1. Kim Herkle2:25.40
  2. Bente Fischer – 2:25.90

The two women in the 200 breaststroke, Herkle and Fischer, were neck-to-neck throughout the entire race and within .50 seconds at every split. In the end, Herkle won the event and set a new German junior record with a personal best of 2:25.40. This was a small drop from her 2:25.56 from earlier this month.

200M Backstroke Men – Final

  • German Record: Jan-Philip Glania, 1:55.87
  • German Olympic Qualification Time: 1:57.00
  • European Championship Qualification Time: 1:59.50

Braunschweig scratched from tonight’s finals so Diener was swimming by himself. Having already achieved the qualification time this morning with a 1:56.99, he cruised tonight’s final to finish in 1:59.46

200M Backstroke Women – Final

  • German Record: Lisa Graf, 2:07.63
  • German Olympic Qualification Time: 2:09.50
  • European Championship Qualification Time: 2:13.00

Top 3

  1. Jenny Mensing – 2:11.71
  2. Sonnele Öztürk – 2:12.47
  3. Lisa Graf – 2:13.68

Jenny Mensing, Lisa Graf, and Nadine Laemmler were all within .30 seconds through the first two turns. Mensing hit the halfway mark at 1:04.19, Laemmler at 1:04.29, and Graf at 1:04.46. Mensing pulled ahead over the third 50 and would go on to win in 2:11.71.  Sonnele Öztürk who was well over a second behind at the 100 mark, finished second in  2:12.47.

1500M Freestyle Men – Final

  • German Record: Florian Wellbrock, 14:36.15
  • German Olympic Qualification Time: 14:59.00
  • European Championship Qualification Time: 15:08.50

Top 3

  1. Florian Wellbrock – 14:36.45
  2. Lukas Märtens – 15:05.36
  3. Oliver Klemet – 15:07.81

A potential showdown between Wellbrock and Märtens turned into a one-man show by the German record holder.  Märtens was within a second of Wellbrock through the first 300. Then Wellbrock made his move and began to pull away from Martens. His turn at the 500 was over five seconds ahead of his pace from last week in Magdeburg. Eyeing his own German record, he turned at the halfway point in 7:19.44, just over record pace. At the 1000 mark, Wellbrock was at 9:45.91 and the clock watching began. At the end Wellbrock just missed his German record, finishing in 14:36.45, dropping over nine seconds from last week. This firmly puts Wellbrock as the #1 swimmer in the world this year in this event.


800M Freestyle Women – Final

  • German Record: Sarah Köhler, 8:16.43
  • German Olympic Qualification Time: 8:30.00
  • European Championship Qualification Time: 8:37.50

Top 3

  1. Sarah Köhler – 8:23.82
  2. Isabele Gose – 8:31.94
  3. Jeannette Spiwoks – 8:36.12

Through the first 200, Köhler had the lead at 2:03.68 just ahead of Gose at 2:04.41. These two would continue to lead the pack as they hit the halfway point at 4:10.25 for Köhler and 4:12.33 for Gose. Köhler would pull away from Gose over the last 200 to finish in 8:23.82. This was Köhler’s fastest time of the year and moves her into 6th in the world this year in the event. Gose swam a 8:26.37 last week in Magdeburg to meet the Olympic qualification time. Spiwoks dropped over four seconds from her best time to swim under 8:40 for the first time and under the European Championship cut as well.

200M IM Men – Final

  • German Record: Philip Heintz, 1:55.76
  • German Olympic Qualification Time: 1:59.40 (already qualified: Philip Heintz)
  • European Championship Qualification Time: 2:00.70

Top 3

  1. Jacob Heidtmann – 1:59.56
  2. Danny Schmidt – 2:01.31
  3. Felix Ziemann – 2:03.42

The three men were all within .54 seconds through the backstroke leg. Heidtmann began to pull away on the breaststroke and finished almost two seconds ahead in 1:59.56. Having achieved the Olympic cut this morning, Heidtmann was just off his prelims time of 1:56.40. Schmidt and Ziemann both were able to improve upon their prelims times.

200M IM Women – Final

  • German Record: Alexandra Wenk, 2:11.33
  • German Olympic Qualification Time: 2:11.90
  • European Championship Qualification Time: 2:15.00

Top 3

  1. Kathrin Demler – 2:12.12
  2. Zoe Vogelmann – 2:13.28
  3. Marie Pietruschka – 2:13.93

Pietruschka was out fast, leading after the first 50 in 28.36. Demler made her move on the backstroke leg, turning at the 100 in 1:01.89, over 1.5 seconds ahead of the field. While Demler was able to set a new best time in 2:12.12, she missed the Olympic cut by .22 seconds.

50M Freestyle Men – Final

  • German Record: Damian Wierling, 21.81
  • German Olympic Qualification Time: 21.95
  • European Championship Qualification Time: 22.35

Top 3

  1. Arten Selim  – 22.47
  2. Damian Wierling – 22.61
  3. Sebastian Pierre-Louis – 22.82

Arten Selim would take this event in 22.47 Both he and Wierling were well off their bests of 21.83 and 21.81 respectively. Pierre-Louis set a new personal best, dropping .12 from the 22.94 he swam last week. Marius Kuschas he did this morning in prelims, swam butterfly in the B final to a time of 23.70, .10 slower than his swim in prelims.

50M Freestyle Women – Final

  • German Record: Britta Steffen, 23.73
  • German Olympic Qualification Time: 24.75
  • European Championship Qualification Time: 25.30

Top 3

  1. Hannah Küchler – 25.26
  2. Annika Bruhn – 25.29
  3. Jessica Felsner – 25.30

It was a tight race in the women’s 50 free as the top three finishers were all within .04 of each other. Küchler would finish ahead of the field with a personal best time of 25.26, dropping .17 from earlier this month. Runner-up Bruhn set a best time for the first time in two years as she swam a 25.33 in April 2019. Felsner was well off her best of 24.91 from two years ago.

200M Butterfly Men – Time Trial

  • German National Record  – David Thomsberger, 1:55.04
  • German Olympic Qualification Time: 1:56.30
  • European Championship Qualification Time: 1:57.85

The last event of the meet was a specially arranged time trial for Klenz. All eyes were on him as he was trying for the Olympic cut after swimming 1:56.64 yesterday. At the first 50 he was 25.54, the same exact split as yesterday. His split at the 100 was 54.87, .05 faster than yesterday. He slowed up a bit over the third 50, touching in 1:25.58 to yesterday’s 1:25.26. With the crowd pulling for him, Klenz gutted-out the final 50 to finish in 1:57.48

As a refresher, the Olympic standards, German records, and already qualified swimmers in each Olympic event are as follows:

Already qualified for Tokyo German Record German Olympic norm Event German Olympic norm German Record Already qualified for Tokyo
23.73 24.75 50 freestyle 21.95 21.81
52.07 54.10 100 freestyle 48.50 48.24
1:55.68 1:57.20 200 freestyle 1:46.70 1:42.00
4:03.96 4:07.50 400 freestyle 3:46.40 3:40.07
Sarah Köhler 8:16.43 8:30.00 800 freestyle 7:50.00 7:43.03 Florian Wellbrock
Sarah Köhler 15:48.83 16:16.00 1500 freestyle 14:59.00 14:36.15 Florian Wellbrock
1:07.01 1:07.00 100 breaststroke 59.85 59.15
2:25.00 2:24.90 200 breaststroke 2:09.90 2:07.47 Marco Koch
Laura Riedemann 59.77 1:00.00 100 backstroke 53.70 52.27
2:07.63 2:09.50 200 backstroke 1:57.00 1:55.87
57.70 57.90 100 butterfly 51.80 51.19 Marius Kusch
Franziska Hentke 2:05.26 2:08.20 200 butterfly 1:55.04 1:55.76
2:11.33 2:11.90 200 IM 1:59.40 1:55.76 Philip Heintz
4:36.10 4:38.40 400 IM 4:15.00 4:12.08 Jacob Heidtmannn

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1 year ago

I’m sure Wellbrock’s splits will be rather interesting to look at

1 year ago

Impressive, overtaking Paltrinieri for top time in the world. This will be one of the best races of Tokyo and it would be great to see the WR go down. Romanchuk was the silver medalist in 2019, but hasn’t raced this event this season, though he has gone 3:48/7:48 in the 400/800.

1 year ago

Several swimmers under the FINA A cut but short of the German cuts so far.

1 year ago

Seriously impressive. I think he’ll break the WR with somebody there to push him. What was the last 100 there, 55.6ish?