With the German National Championships just around the corner in 6 weeks, some of Germany’s best swimmers will collect some race experience and test their form.
The 2017 German national championships are the qualification tournament for the World Championships in Budapest and the European SC Championships in Copenhagen (Denmark) in December or alternatively the Military Games in Rio de Janeiro (Brasil) at the same time. All members of Germany’s 2017 World Championships team will be obliged to participate in the FINA World Cup stop in Berlin, August 6th-7th.
A stop of the Arena Pro Swim series offers the best surroundings for a pre-trials test – even if the swimmers have to travel more than 12 hours. With regard to the season highlight in Budapest in July, it would be difficult to find another competition with a chance to compete against so many Olympic champions and medalists and to grab some international racing experience on such a high level.
The German Swimming Federation set the qualification standards for the World Championships as stringent as never before. For example, in the women’s 200 m breaststroke two target times have been set: The swimmers must reach 2:26,58 in prelims and 2:22,87 in the final. The current German record are 2:25,33 minutes, set by Birte Steven in 2007 – the nomination standard for Budapest is 2,46 seconds faster than the German record. Not easy to crack.
The strict requirements continue in all events: Alexandra Wenk, who starts in Atlanta, is the German record holder in the 100m butterfly in 57,70, to get the direct qualification for Rio, she must swim a new German record because her target time are 57,51 seconds. Fortunately for Alex, she ist just 22 years old – because there are additional nomination criterias for swimmers 23-year old and younger (in Germany: born 1995 or earlier). Following these standards, she must reach a time of 58,19 and, of course, must place one or two in the open class.
Alexandra Wenk wasn’t satisfied with her 22nd place at the Rio Olympic Games – her 11th place in the 200IM in 2:12,13 also didn’t match her goals – her German record in the 200IM stands at 2:11,33. Alexandra took some time off after the Olmypic Games, she travelled through the USA. After the healing of an injury, she is back in training since January.
Damian Wierling is the fastest German man in the water at the moment and he was the shooting star of the 2016 German national championships: He set a new German national record in the 50m freestyle in 21,81 and also beat the fastest German men like Paul Biedermann, Björn Hornikel in the 100m freestyle – in 48,54. He bettered his personal best in Rio to 48,35 – and placed 15th in semi-finals. Since the Olympics, he continued his training in Essen (GER) at the federal training center with his coach Nicole Endruschat – but didn’t participate in many big competions.
Wierling in a good shape should be able to hit the target times for 23-year old and younger: He is just 21 years old, his qualifiying standards are 22,36 (50m free) and 48,69 (100m free).
Some of his teammates from his training base will also compete in Atlanta: Poul Zellmann who is is specialized in the middle and longer freestyle distances – he took part in all stops of the 2016 FINA World Cup and earned several medals.
Zellmann will be accompanied by Moritz Brandt, 19, who is the reigning Junior-European Champion in the 400m freestyle, he won the title in 2016 with a time of 3:48,57.
Perhaps Christian Diener can continue his good form to get a spot for Budapest: He set a new personal best time at the Swim Cup in Eindhoven in April in 54,13 (nomination standards for World Championships 53,99/53,34) but his strongest event are the 200m backstroke. He is an Olympic finalist in this event, finished 7th in Rio in 1:56,27 – if he can deliver such a performance at German nationals, he will be qualified for Budapest.
From a fast German back- to a breaststroke swimmer: Christian vom Lehn made it into the semi-finals in Rio in the 100m breaststroke in 1:00,23 – to reach the German qualifiying standard for Budapest, he must better his personal best of 59,87 to 59,45.
The Pro Swim in Atlanta also is a meeting point for German swimmers who live and study in the USA: Fabian Schwingenschloegel is a senior at the University of Missouri and earned several All-American honors during his college career and won the 100 Yard breaststroke in 2015/2016. Fabian’s goal until June, 2nd, is to make it under the 100 fastest German swimmers – he is registered in Atlanta in the breaststroke events. On June, 2nd, the nomination period for the 2017 German national championships will end – and times must have been swum in a 50m pool. Only the 100 best German swimmers in each event are entitled to start at the German Nationals.
German youngster Jadé Foelske, 16, who lives in Atlanta and is a member of the Dynamo Swim Club, reached the qualifiying times for the LC German Junior-Championships at the Pro Swim in Mesa.
These German swimmers will attend the Arena Pro Swim in Atlanta:
Alexandra Wenk, Damian Wierling, Poul Zellmann, Michelle Lambert, Christian vom Lehn, Eric Friese, Henning Mühlleitner, Fabian Schwingenschloegl, Max Pilger, Moritz Brandt, Christian Diener, Carl-Louis Schwarz, Tim-Thorben Suck, Aliena Schmidtke (former US student-athlete).