The German Youth and Junior Nationals is a special event, taking place in Berlin from Tuesday, June 2nd until Saturday, June 6th. The event is combined for 12 years old girls and 12/13 years old boys which contains:
- 400 m Freestyle
- 50 m Kick (Back, Breast, Dolphin, Flutter) with a board (all strokes except backstroke);
- 100 and 200 m in the chosen stroke
- 200 m IM
The swimmers will get FINA points and of course top scorers will win the titles in the combined event. The different distances are held over 4 of the 5 days of competition. It seems to be a real challenge for these youngsters – swimming different distances, strokes, and demonstrating a drill in a competition pool in front of an audience is not daily business. But for very young competitive swimmers, trying new things and making new experiences is an important aspect to motivate them and to get variety into the practice.
One of Germany’s top swim clubs, the Potsdamer SV, home club of Christian Diener and Yannick Lebherz, has good surroundings for young swimmers: 15 year old Anton Müller set a new age group record on the 100 m backstroke in 57,20 seconds. The Potsdamer SV under coach Jörg Hoffmann Potsdam is with Diener, Schwarz, Lebherz and on the women’s side Sonnele Ötztürk the powerhouse for backstroke swimmers in Germany.
Setting new age group records seems to be a rare thing for the young swimmers – a lot of records are 30 years old – set by swimmers of the German Democratic Republic in a time when Germany was divided in East and West. And of course, there are also big names in the record books like Franziska van Almsick, Paul Biedermann, and the Deibler siblings.
15 years old Julia Mrozinski (SV Halle/Saale, Biedermann’s home club) wasn’t able to improve the 30 years old 200 m Butterfly record, held by Kornelia Greßler in 2:11,87, but without doubts she showed a great performance with her time of 2:12,74. So did Julia Gose, Potsdamer SV, with a 2:05,17 on the 200 free – 13 years of age! Already arrived on the big international swim stage is Leonie Antonia Beck who was able to reach the second part of the German nomination rules for Kazan with her win in the 800 m freestyle in 8:30,01.
German youngsters are going to show up at different European events this year:
- The Junior European Championships in Baku, 18–28 of June,
- The European Youth Olympic Festival in Tiflis from June 12–28, the top multi sport event for young European athletes between the age of 14 and 18. The 1998-2001 born women and 1997-2000 born men can get into the roster for the Junior World Championships held in Singapore.
All these events are great motivation for the German youngster to show good perfomances – the competition will continue on Thursday morning at the “SSE Schwimm- und Sprunghalle im Europapark” Berlin.