Short course world record holder Sarah Köhler has been named one of 5 German Olympic Sports Federation athletes to receive a scholarship from the International Olympic Committee in order to fund her preparations for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.
The scholarship is designed as a part of the IOC’s Olympic Solidarity Program, supporting athletes in their preparations for the Olympic Games. The IOC is expected to award approximately 1,600 of these scholarships worldwide for the 2020 (2021) Olympic cycle. Alongside Köhler, Max Hoff (canoe racing), Niklas Kaul(athletics), Leon Rohde (track cycling) and Oliver Zeidler (rowing) will also receive the scholarship from the IOC, which will provide each athlete with $600 USD per month.
“The scholarship makes it easier for me to get to Tokyo,” said Köhler, “The postponement of the games has confused the life planning not only for me, but also for many athletes.”
All of the athletes recognized are some of the best in the world within their respective disciplines. Hoff is the reigning Olympic gold medalist in the K-4 1000m canoe sprint event, Kaul is the reigning World Champion in the decathlon event, Rohde is a multi-time national champion across several different track cycling events, and Zeidler is the reigning world champion in the single scull event.
Köhler is the current world record holder in the 1500 SCM freestyle, which she set at the 2019 German Championships in Berlin. Her time of 15:18.01 cut a second off of the old record. In addition, Köhler was a double medalist at the 2019 World Championships, winning a gold in the team 5k open water event, while finishing as the individual silver medalist in the 1500m freestyle.
Due to her performances at the 2019 World Championships, Köhler is already qualified to represent Germany at the 2021 Olympic Games.
Köhler recently got engaged to fellow German Olympic swimmer and World Champion Florian Wellbrock at the beginning of the month. Wellbrock is also in the process of training for the Tokyo Olympic Games.