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.

Start List
Live Timing

Heats start at 9:30 CEST (8:30 BST). Finals start at 19:00 CEST (18:00 BST).


  1. The issue with Germany's 400 MR is that Hendrik Feldwehr is seriously injured and not likely to qualify. They will have to rely on Vom Lehn.

  2. Should be interesting to see how fast these German trials are. Historically, they are pretty fast but then the team kind of flops at the Olympics (i.e. Helge Meeuw, Franzi van Almsick, Hannah Stockbauer) Honestly, I don't expect Germany to be a big factor in London. Britta Steffen hasn't been "in the game" for 2 years and Paul Biedermann without a tech suit isn't at the same level as Phelps/Lochte/Sun/Park.

  3. One name....Anna Dietterle women's 50/100 Free....Friends in Germany say she is the real deal and I have noticed her the last few years in European Youth events. I am looking forward to seeing her and what she can do.

  4. I also think Sonnele Oezturk is one heck of a talent in the 200m back with a 2:15+ to her credit this year

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  6. Yannick Lebherz wins men's 400 IM in 4:14.90. Katharina Schiller wins in 4:44.52. These are horrendously slow times for a country that has historically had a world-class swim program.

    Not looking good, Deutschland..

  7. Britta Steffen 53,65 in 4x100 Free Relay..

    Not looking good?

    1. Normally, 53.65 looks good.
      But if Steffen wants to defend her gold medal, it doesn't look too good.
      Kromowidjojo has taken 100 free to another level, and Sjoestroem has swum 53 flat as well, and consistently swam in 53low.

    2. Just to let people know, before you write Britta Steffen off :)

      She did 0:52,74 in Hungary, ok it was the anchor leg (4x100 MR) but reaction time was 0,46

      This "cat" will be hungry, and fast, in London.

  8. Bidermann 1.46.70 200free quite pedestrian.. Phelps did 1.45.69 untapered so Paul has a very long way to to challenge for gold.. Was expecting 1.44high

    1. and phelps did 1.48 this weekend untapered. Really no one quite knows where people are at . However trials getting closer to London have less time for improvement theoretically than March selections.

      But that is just a theory. Everything is theory until the actual racing. The advantage of a top time gets you into the last 3 heats with the last heat affording the best 'view'. However they are also more likely to freeze up if heat prior has been very fast.

      So much to unravel!

    2. Not sure what the actual rule is and correct me if I'm wrong,but aren't times from Shanghai World championships accepted as entry times for London?

      In that case, Biedermann will still get middle lanes in final heats.

    3. It says:

      Qualification period:
      The qualifying time standards must be obtained at any of the specified competitions held in the period:
      Individual Entries with Olympic Qualifying Time: 01 March 2011 to 18 June 2012
      Individual Entries with Olympic Selection Time: 01 March 2011 to 18 June 2012
      Relay Entries: 01 March 2011 to 01 June 2012
      Universality Places: 01 March 2011 to 01 June 2012

      Qualification events:
      Only times achieved at FINA recognised competitions can be accepted as entry times for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
      Qualifying time standards must be obtained at any of the following competitions:
       Continental Championships
       National Olympic Trials, to be approved in advance by FINA
       International Competitions, to be approved in advance by FINA

      so yes times from 2011 World Championship (July 2011) can be accepted as entry times for 2012 Olympics. :-)

  9. Biedermann was certainly disappointed with the time post-race, knowing that it wasn't competitive enough to challenge the top guys in the world.

    I wouldn't be too worried though, he does seem to save his best swims for the major competitions. He was 1:45.7 at nationals last year, and then got down to 1:44.88 in Shanghai. I'm confident he'll be sub-1:45 again in London.

  10. Interesting to note, as I predicted months ago (Befor UK trials) the British female 400 free felay is on paper stronger than the Germans, has that ever happened?

    Steffen (53.6) Schreiber (54.4) Lippok (55.0) Vitting (55.0) - Then a BIG drop.
    Halsall (53.5) Smith (54.0) Turner (54.7) Lloyd (54.9) - Then McClatchey (55.0)....

    Also I am once again expecting from Maughan in the summer, think she could get in that relay. 55.9 PB at trials..over a second faster than at that time of year in previous years and historically she has dropped 1big chunks in the summer, Like Halsall. Watch for her.

    Looking good to take down that 3.36.9 NR :D

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