After having a successful campaign at the 2008 Olympics, winning two gold and bronze to finish fifth in the medal standings, the Germans went into London hoping to come away with more Olympic hardware.
Leading into the games a survey was done with 74% of German people feeling that their fellow countrymen and women could bring home Olympic gold in swimming.
74% of German people felt that their fellow countrymen and women could bring home Olympic gold in swimming
That did not happen and the Germans came away from the pool at the Olympics empty handed while Thomas Lurz won a silver in the 10km marathon.
At the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai the Germans won five bronze medals; Paul Biedermann in both the 200 and 400 freestyle events, Christian vom Lehn in the 200 breaststroke, the men’s 4 x 100 medley relay and the women’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay.
If Biedermann could have repeated the times he posted at the world championships they would have been good enough for medals at the Olympics. 1:44.88 in the 200 would have been good enough for silver while his 3:44.14 in the 400 would have collected a bronze.
The 2008 50 and 100 freestyle Olympic champion Britta Steffen was also looked to in London to bring home at least one medal. In the end she finished fourth in the 50 freestyle and did not qualify for the final in the 100 freestyle.
Leading into the Olympics the former head coach of German Swimming, Dirk Lange had desired tough Olympic qualifying standards which in the end did not help produce the expected result. Now that the Germans have had some time to analyze their program, current head coach Henning Lambertz has decided to go in the opposite direction and has softened the qualifying standards for this year’s world championships. He is hoping that by doing so the swimmers will be able to elevate their performances at the championships themselves and not have their best races at the trials.
The top two swimmers in each event will only have to be better than 24th place from the 2011 World Championships in the prelims and faster than 16th from the same event in the finals to make the 2013 world championship team.
Qualifying standards can be seen here
The following swimmers times from the Olympics will count as pre-qualifying times as long as they finish top two at the trials:
Britta Steffen – 50 freestyle – 24.46
Steffen Deibler – 100 butterfly – 51.81
Paul Biedermann – 200 freestyle – 1:45.53
Markus Deibler – 200 IM – 1:59.10
In reaction to the standards, 2011 world championship bronze medalist Christian vom Lehn tweeted “Absolutely feasible.”