Ramon Klenz Breaks Michael Gross’ 32-Year-Old 200 Fly German Record

2018 International German Swimming Championships

The opening day of the 2018 International German Swimming Championships is in the books from Berlin, with the first finals session highlighted by the oldest men’s national record on the books falling by the wayside.

Six-time Olympic medalist Michael Gross swam a time of 1:56.24 in the 200 butterfly at the 1986 German Championships in Hannover, and that mark stood for 32 years until finally going down today.

Ramon Klenz came into the competition with a personal best of 1:57.50 from the Swim Cup in Eindhoven in April, but dropped a time of 1:55.76 in the final to drop Gross’ longstanding record by nearly half a second. That ranks the 19-year-old 11th in the world for the season, and 3rd among Europeans trailing only Hungarians Kristof Milak and Tamas Kenderesi.

David Thomasberger wasn’t far off of Gross’ record as well in placing 2nd, clocking 1:56.46 to lower his PB of 1:56.81 from last year, and Fynn Minuth, who competes with South Carolina in the NCAA, was 3rd in 1:57.86.

Marius Zobel broke the German record for 19-year-olds in the men’s 400 free in 3:49.03, finishing as the runner-up to Poul Zellmann (3:48.35) who successfully defended his national title from last year.

Another 19-year-old record fell in the men’s 50 breast, as Melvin Imoudu lowered his 27.51 from April in a time of 27.39 to win the event over former NCAA champion Fabian Schwingenschlogl (27.69) and veteran Christian vom Lehn (27.89).


  • Liechtenstein’s Julia Hassler won the women’s 400 free in 4:10.71, lowering her previous national record of 4:11.68 from April. Johanna Friedrich was the top German in 4:12.66 for 2nd overall.
  • 2017 World Championship silver medalist Franziska Hentke won the women’s 200 fly in 2:09.09, with Alexandra Wenk cracking her five-year-old PB for 2nd in 2:11.72. Hentke currently ranks 6th in the world with a 2:07.21 from the German Open in April.
  • 16-year-old Anna Elendt won a tight race in the women’s 50 breast, touching in 31.47 to get by Jessica Steiger (31.51) and Malaika Schneider (31.57).
  • Christian Diener won his first National title in the LC 100 back with a time of 54.60, with Ole Braunschweig 2nd in 54.79 and Egypt’s Mohamed Samy 3rd in 55.50. Both Braunschweig and Samy swam best times.
  • Laura Riedemann (1:00.60) took out Jenny Mensing (1:00.82) for the women’s 100 back title.

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4 years ago

The oldest German record must be Petra Schneider’s 4.36.10 in the 400IM way back in 1982 when swimming for the GDR. It might stand for a few more years. One could argue it should not have been recognized as a record given that it was almost certainly drug-tainted.

4 years ago

Breaking a record set by one of the greatest in the history of swimming has got to be a thrill, especially after all these years. It’s like when Spitz’ 200 y fly at IU and Gaines’ 200 y free at Auburn were finally broken.

Too bad the Gross didn’t have the opportunity to be a pro swimmer. That’s one of the great “What if?” scenarios that can never be answered. Considering is broad versatility (WR’s in the 200-400 free and 100-200 fly), it’s not inconceivable that he could have stayed dominant at least through ’96, if not later.

John Naber, himself a legend, said that Gross could have won 6-7 medals in LA ’84 had he been an American and… Read more »

Reply to  BaldingEagle
4 years ago

I think he also had the 800 scm record for a while. One of the best swimmer ever!

Reply to  ooo
4 years ago

And the 400 scm medley record in 4:17,2…..

4 years ago

Nice swim, but what is up with that pic?! Swimming in a fish tank?

Reply to  2Fat4Speed
4 years ago

I had the same thought.

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4 years ago

Pretty fast! Congrats to him for breaking that!

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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