Two-Time German Olympian Jacob Heidtmann Announces His Retirement

by Ben Dornan 0

October 03rd, 2022 Europe, International, News

Two-time German Olympian Jacob Heidtmann announced his retirement from swimming on Sunday via Instagram.

Heidtmann raced for Germany at both the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Games. At his Olympic debut in 2016, Heidtmann swam the 400 IM but was disqualified in the prelims and did not advance into the finals round. Five years later in 2021, Heidtmann swam the 200 freestyle, 200 IM, and 400 IM.

His highest finish in Tokyo was in the 400 IM where he placed 12th in prelims with a 4:12.09. That time was just under 2 seconds slower than Max Litchfield, who swam a 4:10.20 during prelims to nab the eighth-place spot into finals. In the 200 freestyle, Heidtmann was 19th in prelims with a 1:46.73, and in the 200 IM, he finished 23rd in prelims with a 1:58.30.

Heidtmann is a long-time member of the German national team, writing on Instagram that he is leaving the sport after 20 years of swimming and “11 years on the national team.” In his 11 years, Heidtmann raced at several World Championships and European Championships. At the 2015 World Championships Heidtmann broke the German record in the 400 IM final with a 4:12.08, placing fifth overall. At the next World Champs, Heidtmann raced the 400 IM again and wound up in 13th place with a 4:17.68. In 2019, at his last World Champs, he opted for the 200 free instead of the 400 IM, placing 18th with a 1:47.38.

Heidtmann still holds that 2015 German record in the 400 IM. He also holds a national record in the mixed 4×200 freestyle relay, which he, Henning Mühlleitner, Reva Foos, and Annika Bruhn lowered to a 7:28.43 at the 2018 European Championships. That swim got Heidtmann and his teammates a long course European Championships medal in that event, outswimming the Russian contingent, which posted a 7:29.37 for silver.

Heidtmann spent the majority of his career training in Germany and moved to San Diego for his final two years. During the 2020 International Swimming League season, Heidtmann raced for the LA Current and swam a variety of events for the team including the 100 and 200 backstroke and butterfly, the 200 and 400 freestyle, and the 400 IM. During the 2020 ISL final, Heidtmann placed seventh in the 200 backstroke (1:57.56), sixth in the 400 free (3:42.49), and eighth in the 400 IM (4:06.87). He finished 89th overall in that match and 168th overall that season.

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