Lukas Märtens Pops Off 1:56.18 200 Backstroke To Close Out Gothaer & Friends Meet

33RD INTERNATIONAL GOTHAER & FRIENDS MEET

  • Friday, April 19th – Sunday, April 21st
  • Magdeburg, Germany
  • LCM (50m)
  • Live Results

The 33rd International Gothaer and Friends Meet is now completed and there are many notable swims to report. The meet took place in Magdeburg, Germany this week and coincided with the annual Berlin Open. Many swimmers opted to compete at one of the meets in the lead-up to next week’s National Championships, which will serve as the final opportunity to make the German Olympic team.

After blasting the 2nd fastest 400 freestyle of his career to open the meet on Friday, Lukas Märtens destroyed his career best in the 200 backstroke to scare the German record. He put his hand on the wall in 1:56.18, which eclipses his previous lifetime best of 1:56.97 and just misses the national record (1:55.87) set by Jan-Philip Glania at the 2012 German Championships. Märtens’ previous personal standard comes from the 2022 edition of the Gothaer and Friends competition. He placed 13th in this event at the 2024 World Championships (1:58.24) after earning 400 free bronze four days prior.

His time is also under the Olympic qualifying time of 1:57.50, so he will most likely have the option to swim it at the Paris Olympics. We’ll have to wait and see what transpires at the German National Championships later this month before it’s official though.

Märtens was out much faster in his 200 back today, as he flipped in 56.15 at the halfway turn compared to his previous best time split of 57.33. He closed in a slightly slower 1:00.03 but still terminated the previous mark by 0.79. See a full split comparison below.

Splits Comparison:

Lukas Märtens‘ New Best Time: Lukas Märtens‘ Previous Best Time:
First 100m 56.15 57.33
Second 100m 1:00.03 59.64
Total Time 1:56.18 1:56.97

Additionally, Märtens punched best times in the 50 back (25.60), 100 back (54.49), and 100 free (48.89) earlier in the week.

Isabel Gose, who won three medals at the Doha World Championships in February, logged two wins over the course of the meet. She notched a time of 1:57.66 in the 200 free as well as a swift 4:03.01 in the 400 free. She was also entered in the 800 free, but official results have yet to be released.

In Doha, she touched 3rd in the 400 free (4:02.39) and 2nd in the 800 free (8:17.53) with personal record times. She bagged another bronze in the 1500, but was shy of her 15:54.58 best from the 2023 Fukuoka World Championships. She’s been as quick as 1:56.80 in the 200 free at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Australian Moesha Johnson, who moved training bases in 2022 to train under Bernd Berkhan in Germany, also raced at the competition. She clocked-in at 4:12.50 for 3rd in the 400 free and 16:07.59 for 2nd in the 1500. Johnson has shifted focus to Open Water since 2021 and has become a real medal threat for the upcoming Olympic Games. Her highest Open Water finish to date came at the World Championships in February, where she touched 4th in the 10km race.

Fellow Open Water swimmer and distance ace Florian Wellbrock was also in the pool this weekend. The reigning 10k Olympic Champion opted to not swim his signature 800 and 1500m events, but did swim the 200 and 400 events for a speed check. He hit the wall in 1:48.12 for 4th in the 200 and 3:48.12 for 3rd in the 400. His 200 free takes down his 2018 best time of 1:49.18. He’s been as quick as 3:44.35 in the longer 400m free.

After demolishing his best time in the 400 free with a 3:42.81 to kick off the meet, 22-year-old Oliver Klemet posted another great swim in the 800m distance. He stopped the clock in 7:46.03 to secure victory, which undercuts his previous career best of 7:48.96 by just shy of three seconds.

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swimfast
1 month ago

I did not know he did backstroke…

thezwimmer
1 month ago

sidequest

Andrew
1 month ago

lmaoo this would probably make the final in Paris. Mens 2 back is a joke, please delete the event

NornIron Swim
Reply to  Andrew
1 month ago

But you’d be so disappointed if this robbed Murphy of a medal chance.

Andrew
Reply to  NornIron Swim
1 month ago

it won’t. Murphy will go 1:55 high and somehow get a medal because this event is pathetic internationally

Facts
1 month ago

If the 400 backstroke was a thing he’d prob dominate

Adrian
1 month ago

Entries for German Championships are up (https://schwimm-dm.de/dm-schwimmen/meldelisten/). Martens will not be swimming 800 or 1500, seems to be putting his focus in 200/400 free, 200 back and the freestyle relays (swam a 48.8 100 free PB at this meet). The battle to be top 4 in freestyles for German relays will be fierce.

Swimcast
Reply to  Adrian
1 month ago

The 800 Free are terribly timed during the olympics, clashing with the 200 free (heats, semis on sunday), 800 free heats on monday, 200free final monday evening and the heats and finals in the 4x200free on tuesday along with the 800free final on tuesday.
Moreover he’s been sick and out of practice for a couple of weeks during autumn, so he still lacks a bit of aerob base he says

RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

Lukas Martens can BACKSTROKE?

Adrian
Reply to  RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

He also swam PB in 50 back (25.6), and 100 back (54.4) at this meet, so clearly he has put a focus on backstroke this season. And this 200 mark is under the OQT, meaning he can swim this at the Olympics if he wants.

Last edited 1 month ago by Adrian