Märtens Siblings Headline Germany’s Roster for 2024 World Championships in Doha

by Riley Overend 7

September 17th, 2023 Europe, International, News

The German Swimming Association (DSV) has announced a roster of 10 athletes for pool swimming at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar.

That is a significant reduction from the 18 that the country sent to the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.

The reduction in roster falls in line with other countries that have announced their intentions for the unusual 2024 World Championships, which were jammed-in before the Olympic Games as a result of the schedule crunch caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

World Championships finalists from 2023 were pre-selected to the 2024 team. That includes rising star Lukas Märtens, who took a bronze medal in the 400 free. The 21-year-old won silver in the same event a year earlier and is the defending European Champion in that race. Märtens won’t swim the 1500 free in Doha, instead focusing on middle distances.

“The topic of the many missions has been with me for a long time. In terms of training methods, such different races cannot be optimally reconciled,” Märtens said. “I would like to concentrate primarily on the middle distances until Paris.

Germany’s other four individual World Championship finalists — Lucas Matzerath (6th in the 50 breast, 5th in the 100 breast), Ole Braunschweig (8th in 50 back), Isabel Gose (7th in the 400 free, 5th in the 800 free, and 6th in the 1500 free); and Angelina Kohler (5th in the 100 fly) — are also part of the team.

Three others were named on the basis of hitting the DSV’s World Championships time standard in other meets during the July/August qualification period: distance freestyler Leonie Märtens, Lucas’ younger sister; sprint breaststroker Melvin Imoudu, who dropped a full second in the 100 in July after stagnating for a couple years; and distance freestyler Sven Schwarz, who at the European U23 Championships threw his hat into the ring for an increasingly-crowded global distance field thanks to a 7:41 in the 800 free and 14:43.53 in the 1500 free.

“First of all, I’m looking forward to the first World Cup together with my sister,” Lukas Märtens. “It’s definitely a boost when your family supports you on site. And Leonie and I are getting a little closer to our dream of participating in the Olympics together.”

Germany will be deep in the distance freestyle department, including Florian Wellbrock. Wellbrock won silver in the 800 free and bronze in the 1500 free at the 2022 World Championships, but struggled in the pool in 2023 even after winning the 5km and 10km races individually.

Wellbrock was one of two swimmers who were named to the team at the behest of competitive sports director Christian Hansmann. That list includes Rafael Miroslaw, who is the country’s top sprint freestyler at the moment. Miroslaw, who trains in the US at Indiana, will have the World Championships in early February before the Big Ten Championships that begin on February 28.

The country will not participate in relays at the World Championships, even though they do not currently have any relays qualified for the Olympic Games.

“In terms of training methodology, it would not be helpful for a good Olympic performance to aim for three competition highlights within five months,” National Team coach Bernd Berkhahn said. “That’s why we prefer to concentrate on the national qualification period in April 2024 with the German Championships from April 25th to 28th in Berlin as the final highlight.”

Six of the seven Olympic relay teams have already placed themselves in a promising position in Japan in the fight for a total of 16 starting places for Paris. The top three finishing countries from the 2023 World Championships automatically qualified relays for the Paris Olympics; the remaining 13 spots will be based on the 13 next-best relays between the 2023 and 2024 World Championships.

Teams that made finals at the 2023 World Championships are not guaranteed of spots at the Olympics, but are considered very likely to qualify.

The group of 10 is scheduled to compete in the World Aquatics World Cup meet in Berlin from October 6-8.

World Championships Team for 2024 in Doha Qatar



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4 days ago

The biggest name missing from their roster is probably Anna Elendt, but otherwise that seems close to a full strength team as far as individual events. The men’s distance fields might be more robust than expected in Doha. Apparently Paltrinieri said right after Fukuoka that he was planning to attend Doha WC (but he also said he is considering dropping pool swimming to focus on open water). Probably a smart move for Märtens to narrow his lineup.

4 days ago

The most interesting remark is that Märtens won’t swim the 1500 free anymore. Good call

5 days ago

The top 12 relays from Japan are quite safe to qualify

Reply to  Boz
5 days ago

Where did Germany come in the relays?

Reply to  Joel
5 days ago

400 free men – 9th
800 free men – 7th
400 medley men – 8th
800 free women – 13th
400 medley women – 12th
400 medley mixed – 8th

In the women’s 800 free relay, they have a 5 second gap on #15 South Korea and #16 Austria. In the women’s medley, they have a four second margin on #15 Belgium and #16 Hong Kong.

Hungarian women could maybe bump them in 400 medley. Not much other danger, unless one of those other countries come up with a new surprise talent. Maybe France puts together an 800 free relay. They’re in pretty good shape. My guess is they wouldn’t be devastated if they missed… Read more »

Reply to  Braden Keith
5 days ago


Reply to  Braden Keith
4 days ago

Hungary will need to find a breakthrough breaststroker in the next three months or they may not even field a real medley relay again but assign an IM swimmer and take a chance

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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