Magdeburg German Olympic Qualifying Event
April 11th was the final day of racing in Magdeburg. This was one of three meets this weekend where German swimmers were able to aim for their Olympic qualifying cuts, including the competitions in Eindhoven and Stockholm.
18-year-old Isabel Gose claimed victory in the 800 free, undercutting the German Olympic qualifying time, 8:30.00, and her previous best time substantially with a time of 8:26.37. Going into this meet, her lifetime best was set at 8:37.79, but during an interview she said that she had gotten under the qualifying cut in training already.
This was a longer event for Gose who normally specializes in the 200 and 400 free. She described changing her stroke technique, her “sling arm,” with her coach and focusing more on training for the 800.
The 800 free was a surprisingly tight race between Gose, Celine Rieder, and Sarah Köhler who were within half a second of each other during the first 200 meters. At the halfway point, Rieder fell back, about 2 seconds behind Gose and Köhler.
Leonie Märtens and Marlene Sandberg made their move at the 500-meter mark, pushing past Rieder as Köhler stayed on Gose’s toes, about one-third of a second behind her. Köhler was the only other swimmer to undercut the Olympic qualifying time, touching the wall 2nd with a time of 8:28.56. She is already nominated to the Olympic team in this event, alongside the 1500 free, which means there is only one Olympic spot left on Germany’s roster in this event. Märtens finished 3rd with a time of 8:48.94.
Rieder, who has already cracked the Olympic qualifying time in the 1500 free, finished the race in 5th place (9:10.81).
Gose’s time ranks her 8th in the world this season:
2019 World Champion Florian Wellbrock won the 1500 free with the 2nd fastest time in the world this season: 14:46.03. 19-year-old Lukas Märtens kept pace with him up until the last 200 meters where Wellbrock increased his half-a-second lead to more than 3 seconds. Märtens clocked a time of 14:49.26, the 3rd fastest time in the world this season.
The two finished more than a minute ahead of the rest of the field.
These results mirror the 400 freestyle from Saturday where Wellbrock and Martens finished 1-2 and they both cracked the Olympic qualifying time.
Current German Olympic Roster (Tokyo 2020)
- Sarah Koehler – 800 / 1500 freestyle
- Florian Wellbrock – 800 / 1500 freestyle
- Marco Koch – 200 breaststroke
- Laura Riedemann – 100 backstroke
- Franziska Hentke – 200 butterfly
- Marius Kusch – 100 butterfly
- Philip Heintz – 200 IM
- Jacob Heidtmannn – 400 IM
Swimmers Under Germany’s Olympic Cut