After the Olympic “excitement” of a 19-year-old, top German swimmers want to feel the excitement of Tokyo. Sarah Koehler swims safely in the final, and Florian Willbrook finally starts.
The thought of her first Olympic final put a smile on the face of Vice World Champion Sarah Koehler.
“In the final, the cards will be adjusted,” said the 27-year-old. Sixth in the preliminary round, she definitely got the third ticket to a German swim to the final in Tokyo, but she has to improve even more in order to get a better place in the crucial race. “Of course, the dream of an Olympic medal is still alive,” said Florian Willbrook’s fiancée.
Cheered by the German team in the stands of the Tokyo Aquatics Center, 15:52.67 minutes, about four seconds above their best time, did not initially raise hopes that the German swimmers would end their slack for medals. Before Koehler battles for Olympic merits on Wednesday (4.54 a.m.), two-time world champion Willbrook could build up confidence in a German swimmer’s first precious metal since 2008. The 23-year-old will jump off the competition start block for the first time in Tokyo on Tuesday (1.40pm) in the pre-run 800m freestyle.
“Fun” in advance
Willbrook’s girlfriend had “fun” in her pre-season career, although she found fault with the first analysis. “I was a little busy in the water today,” Koehler said. “I have to calm down a bit before the final and after that I hope it will be faster.” It was 17.32 seconds behind Katie Ledecky, who was the fastest in the lead United States of America. About nine hours ago, the five-time Olympic champion in the 400-meter freestyle wasn’t the first to run a summer singles race for the first time.
The title went to Ariarn Titmus of Australia in a stunning 400m final. Behind the two was clearly 19-year-old Isabel Goose, having a “crazy feeling” with her respectable sixth place as the fastest European. “It was very exciting,” said the Magdeburg native, who swam the German record in the previous run. Their first appearance was the 200m freestyle semi-final on Monday.
After feeling the Olympic jab of Wales, Kohler wanted to feel the excitement of the Summer Games in the World Cup Finals on Wednesday and the day before Willbrook and former world champion Marco Koch. World Champion Willbrook is ‘extremely happy’ that he can finally jump from the starting point. “So far we are selling just as well as the whole team in Germany,” said the 23-year-old. He wants to make sure things go better himself. Ideally, a first pool medal could be won since Britta Stephen’s double gold medal in 2008.
Stephen is watching closely
The 37-year-old takes a closer look at Kohler, with whom she has been linked “since the old days”. “I offered her my support because at the time she helped me brainstorm with the alumni and discuss the pressure to succeed,” Stephen said and gave Kohler the following advice on the 50m track with a view to learning about his history. “Do what you want, focus on your path, your tactics, and fulfill your potential, regardless of the demands of others around you.”
Kohler describes Stephen as a “good friend” and “crazy personality” and hopes for a surprise medal in Tokyo. “I attach great importance to her advice, because she can see many things very impartially, she always has an open ear and exudes an incredible calm,” said Kohler of the German news agency dpa.
King of Great Britain Adam Petty, once again, demonstrated the calmness of a hero in Tokyo. His safe victory over 100 meters cemented the exceptional status of the Olympic champion in Rio de Janeiro. The Americans won the 4x100m freestyle, and Germany failed to finish 16th in the runners-up.
Annika Bron came again on Monday in addition to Gus. For the women’s freestyle, the 200m freestyle semi-final takes place on Tuesday evening (CEST). On the other hand, German record holder David Thomasberger retired from the 200m butterfly one second above his best time in 17th place.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210726-99-540246 / 3 (dpa)