Märtens Throws Down 3:41.98 400 Free, Klemet 3:42.81 At Magdeburg Gothaer & Friends Meet

33rd International Gothaer & Friends Meet

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

While the Berlin Open got underway earlier today, Bernd Berkhan’s German training group opted to attend the local Gothaer and Friends Meet in Madgeburg instead.

On today’s schedule was the men’s 400 freestyle, where Lukas Märtens dropped a winning time of 3:41.98 to rank 3rd in the world so far this season. It checks-in as his 2nd fastest time ever, just sitting behind his best time of 3:41.60 from the 2022 Stockholm Open.

Sitting ahead of him in the world standings is the Australian duo of Elijah Winnington (3:41.41) and Sam Short (3:41.64), who posted the two fastest times just two days ago at the Australian Open.

Märtens has been a mainstay on the international scene in this 400m distance ever since dropping his best time prior to the 2022 World Championships. He has medaled at the past three World Championship meets with the following results:

  • 2022 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary — 3:42.85 (Silver)
  • 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan — 3:42.20 (Bronze)
  • 2024 World Championships in Doha, Qatar — 3:42.96 (Bronze)

Frankfurt’s Oliver Klemet destroyed his lifetime best of 3:45.34 en route to 2nd place. He stopped the clock less than a second back of Märtens in 3:42.81 for the 5th fastest time in the world this season. He owns best times of 7:48.96 and 14:45.89 in the 800 and 1500 distances, so we’ll see what he has in store in those distances later this weekend.

Klemet is best known for his open water abilities, as he won an individual medal at the 2023 World Championships in the 10km distance. With his 3rd place performance there, he automatically qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games in that event.

50m splits for tonight’s race are currently unavailable, but splits by 100 have been made public. Both swimmers took the race out strongly through the first 200m with sub-1:50 efforts. Open water specialist Klemet stuck close to 1:44.79 200m freestyler Märtens through 300m before falling slightly behind over the closing stages.

Splits Comparison:

Lukas Märtens: Oliver Klemet:
100m 53.02 53.41
200m 1:49.24 (56.22) 1:49.65 (56.24)
300m 2:45.92 (56.68) 2:46.24 (56.59)
400m 3:41.98 (56.06) 3:42.81 (56.57)

When Märtens notched his personal best of 3:41.60 in 2022, he split 53.92, 56.60, 55.71, and 55.37. He was faster on the first two 100 splits tonight but fell off the pace a bit over the final 200. His new splitting does make sense though, as he announced in November that he would be focusing on the shorter distances in Paris. In the past, he has focused on the 200-1500 free races at many international competitions and boasts the following best times:

  • 200 Freestyle — 1:44.79
  • 400 Freestyle — 3:41.60
  • 800 Freestyle — 7:39.48
  • 1500 Freestyle — 14:40.28

His coach Bern Berkhan said: “In Fukuoka [the 2023 World Championships], Lukas really wanted to try out his full range again. Afterwards he saw how fast his 200 meter freestyle was as the starting swimmer in the relay; the time would have been enough for fourth place in the final. And if we now give more attention to it and he pushes the 1500 meters away, out of training and out of his head, then everything can develop a little further.”

Berkhan added: “I explained to Lukas that it is good for his base if he swims the 1500 meters – but we shouldn’t swim it at international highlights because the training then has to be very broad. I also see potential for development in the 400 meter freestyle. By concentrating on fewer routes, you can get a few percentage points more here too. In the end, many starts are of no use if you don’t win a medal.”

In This Story

20
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

20 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tencor
1 month ago

3:41 is the new 3:43

FST
1 month ago

I think it’d be kind of cool if the WR stayed with Germany. Paul’s times are messy, with everyone complaining about the suit and Germany has been so mediocre (aside from distance swimming) for so long that they deserve a little success.

But boy do I hope that annoying WR gets broken soon. Whether you think it’s Paul’s or really Ian’s – it’s about time someone else gets it.

Last edited 1 month ago by FST
RealCrocker5040
Reply to  FST
1 month ago

It’s Ian’s WR and everyone knows it

Adrian
1 month ago

Martens is swimming all 3 backstrokes events this week, and got a 1 second PB in the 50 back yesterday. And he is not entered into the 800, 1500 frees. Does this mean he is also targeting the 200 back (1:56 PB) for Paris?

Jonathan
1 month ago

Friendly reminder that the American record in the 400 free is still 3:42.78 from 2008.

Why are the American men so weak in this event?

RealCrocker5040
Reply to  Jonathan
1 month ago

Luka the BAZUKA will save us from the depths of darkness DO NOT WORRY!!!!

Troyy
Reply to  Jonathan
1 month ago

American textile best is 3:43.42

Proboscus
Reply to  Jonathan
1 month ago

400 free and breaststroke are the American men’s achilles heels.

Khase Calisz
Reply to  Jonathan
1 month ago

Ian Thorpe: “people are too afraid to go out fast nowadays.”

nealnan8
Reply to  Jonathan
1 month ago

Short answer is that college swimming in the US puts to much of a premium on sprinters. Also, most US swimmers don’t train long course until the end of spring.

BSD
1 month ago

Some of these German kids really swim well when there’s no pressure on

chickenlamp
1 month ago

Fast stuff, I think it makes sense for Martens to narrow his event range a bit. What’s Klemet’s 800/1500 PBs? I think he’s going to take big chunks off those this week

Buttafly
1 month ago

The world is getting so deep at this event. If I tune in to US trials and someone wins it with a 3:45 high again I will eat my kick board out of frustration (please don’t hold me to this)

RealCrocker5040
Reply to  Buttafly
1 month ago

Mijatovic is going to go 3:40 in LA just watch

Buttafly
Reply to  RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

I agree with you

Boknows34
Reply to  RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

He’ll be the same age as Phelps in Athens 2004.

Andy
Reply to  RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

I feel like Paris will be won in 3:39 and who knows about LA

Troyy
Reply to  RealCrocker5040
1 month ago

Might not get a medal by 2028.

Daddy Foster
1 month ago

At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised if 3 men broke the world record this summer!