2023 BERLIN SWIM OPEN
- Friday, April 21st – Sunday, April 23rd
- Berlin, Germany
- LCM (50m)
- World Championships Qualifier
Day one of the 2023 Berlin Open ended with a major bang as Olympic champion Florian Wellbrock fired off a new German national record in the men’s 1500m freestyle.
Stopping the clock in a time of 14:34.89, 25-year-old Wellbrock not only earned the meet title decisively, but he also overtook his own previous lifetime best in the event.
Entering this competition, Wellbrock’s career-quickest 1500m free rested at the 14:36.15 he notched at the 2018 European Championships.
Tonight in Berlin, however, the open water and pool swimming ace sliced over a second off that result to establish a new national record en route to qualifying for this summer’s World Championships.
In fact, Wellbrock now ranks #1 in the world, overtaking the previous global leader Daniel Wiffen who earned a new Irish standard with his PB of 14:34.91.
For perspective, Wellbrock’s 14:34.98 outing this evening would have easily taken gold at the 2020 Olympic Games, holding a nearly 4-second advantage over champion Bobby Finke of the United States who took Tokyo gold in 14:39.64.
History-wise, Wellbrock now becomes the 4th fastest man ever in this 1500m free event.
Top Men’s LCM 1500 Free Performers All-Time
- Sun Yang (CHN) – 14:31.02, 2012
- Gregorio Paltrinieri (ITA) – 14:32.80, 2022
- Grant Hackett (AUS) – 14:34.56, 2001
- Florian Wellbrock (GER) – 14:34.89, 2023
- Daniel Wiffen (IRL) – 14:34.91, 2023
Post-race Wellbrock said, “My trainer Bernd Berkhahn and I agreed that I was overdue for a 1500m record. The training progress was always the same as on the other routes, but I was never able to achieve it on the 1500 meters.
Giving his fellow global competitors their due, Wellbrock said, “Internationally, Gregorio Paltrinieri and Daniel Wiffen have already shown that you can and probably have to swim well beyond this 14:36 if you want to win in Fukuoka and Paris 2024. In any case, that’s a tight time for the end of April.”