Olympic 10k Champion Florian Wellbrock Withdraws from Open Water Races at Euros


German swimmer Florian Wellbrock won’t compete in open water racing at this week’s European Championships, withdrawing after a disappointing pool performance this week in Rome.

Wellbrock, who is two days from his 26th birthday, finished 5th in the 1500 free in 15:02.51. He was also entered in the 800 free individually but hinted before the meet that he would scratch that event because of a lack of fitness after a post-World Championship COVID-19 infection.

Wellbrock has three previous European Championship medals in open water, none gold. He was the 2019 World Champion in the open water 10km event and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion. At this year’s World Championships, he won the 5km open water and team open water races and took bronze in the premier 10km event.

One of the best pool-open water crossover swimmers in history, he also won World Championship medals in both the 800 and 1500 freestyles earlier this year.

Speaking with SwimSwam’s Giusy Cisale, Wellbrock said that his preparation for the championship was “not very good” and “unprofessional.”

He said he felt good in prelims, but in the final, he raced for the medals, and after about 500 meters he was tired.

Wellbrock also discussed his training with Mykhalo Romanchuk, the Ukrainian swimmer who came to train with Wellbrock after Russia’s invasion of his country. Romanchuk won the 1500 free this week in Rome in a new Ukrainian Record, making him the 4th-best performer in history.

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1 year ago

he dropped 47 seconds between 206 and 2018!

1 year ago

I hope that this is a short Covid impact and not a long-term impact. Wish for a full recovery and good luck next year.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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