Tuesday, 8 May 2012
German Olympic Trials
(Interesting finishing technique from Marco di Carli, video courtesy of DMS - Deutsche Mannschaftsmeisterschaften im Schwimmen)
May 10 -14. This week sees the best Germany has to offer in the swimming pool step up to try and claim a spot at London 2012. Most attention will fall on Paul Biedermann, Britta Steffen and Christian vom Lehn, but don't snooze on the following swimmers:
Marco di Carli - Di Carli led the world rankings in the 100m Free heading into Shanghai last year with his 48.24 from German Nationals. Look for another fast swim on home soil in the 100m Free and improvement on the global stage. He's a potential Olympic finalist, with an outside medal chance if he can impove on his 2011 form.
Ben Starke - Like di Carli, last year Starke underperformed at Worlds after a strong showing at German Nationals. If he repeats his time of 51.65 from last year, he would move him to number 1 in this year's world rankings. Watch out also for Philip Heintz, European Junior Bronze medalist in 2009, who has taken a big step forward this year with his 52.38 in March, as well as 50m specialist Steffen Deibler.
Helge Meeuw - World silver medalist back in 2009, Meeuw marked his return to the international stage with a 7th placed finish in the 100m Back in Shanghai. He swam 53.28 in the final and 53.22 in the heats of the 4 x 100 Medley relay. The medal spots look wide open in the 100m Back this year and Meeuw has the talent to be in that mix.
Men's 4 x 100 Medley Team - Bronze medalists in Shanghai, but often overlooked in discussions for the medley relay. The German team lost out to the eventual winners USA by just 0.54 seconds, while seeing Helge Meeuw swim 0.3 seconds slower than his relay heat swim and Ben Starke split 51.83, down on his 51.65 flat start from German Nationals. The US team should be stronger with the addition of Brendan Hansen and Matt Grevers this year, but Germany are contenders and have potential Olympic finalists in all 4 disciplines.
Daniela Schreiber - Schreiber finished last year down in 33rd in the 100m Free world rankings with 54.74, but that did not tell the whole story. Schreiber played a huge part in the German team's 4 x 100 Free bronze medal with her impressive 53.12 anchor leg. That relay split was the 3rd fastest in the entire race behind Femke Heemskerk, Missy Franklin and tied with Yi Tang. Her split was faster than the likes of Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Dana Vollmer, Jeanette Ottesen and Alicia Coutts. In March she swam 54.45 and she should give Britta Steffen a solid challenge.
Women's 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay - Steffen and Schreiber make a punchy 1-2 combo, and the German team also have decent strength in depth from the likes of Silke Lippok, Lisa Vitting and Dorothea Brandt. If Lippok, who at 18 years old is at a good age for a further breakthrough, can take a step forward then the German quartet will have a good chance of repeating their bronze medal from Shanghai.
Heats start at 9:30 CEST (8:30 BST). Finals start at 19:00 CEST (18:00 BST).