Swimming. bronze instead of gold. Wellbrock loses the sport’s title

Florian Wellbrock won a bronze medal in Budapest. Photo: AFP/OLI SCARFF


Florian Wellbrock wanted to defend his world title in 1500 meters freestyle. But an unleashed floating Italian ensures that nothing comes of it. However, bronze is more than just a consolation for a man from Magdeburg.

At first, Florian Wellbrock did not know whether to laugh or be sad. The reigning over 1,500m freestyle champion won his second world medal with bronze at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest on Saturday night, but his big project was gold. Nothing came of it, as Italy’s Gregorio Paltrinieri swam away from the other favorites chasing each other, sometimes more than three seconds off the world record, and just couldn’t be caught again. And in the final sprint, the Olympic champion Bobby Finke from the USA was again faster than Wellbrock.

After the three silver medals of Lucas Martens, Anna Elendt and Wellbrock, it was the fourth precious metal of the German team at the end of the cymbal competition in Budapest. This means that German swimmers have the best performance since the 2009 World Championships. In the pool, they were denied the icing on the cake: the world title.

Wellbrock focused on the 1500m

“I won bronze,” Wellbrock said, stressing that it was no longer easy to get on the podium in this category. “It might have been a few years ago, but not anymore with electricity density. I came close to my best time,” remarked the Olympic champion in open water.

National trainer Bernd Berchan was ambivalent after the race. He would sign the time before the competition. “But he just came out of the water and said he wasn’t exhausted and could keep swimming,” criticized the coach and said Wellbrock relied too much on Finke. “It was something to keep,” Berkhan said.

Wellbrock focused his particular attention on the 1,500 meters. After winning the battle against strong competition, he placed great importance on a quick recovery. That was the new training goal developed by national coach Bernd Berkhan ahead of the competition in Hungary. Weakness cannot be ignored either.



Italian joins

Wellbrock was also seen doing a few quick laps on Saturday morning before the morning session, repeatedly debating with Berkhan but also acting as a fun cannon. For example, when freestyle swimmer Rafael Miroslav swam a single over 25 meters in the freestyle, Wellbrock bounced his arms back and forth on the edge of the pool and then laughed out loud in victory.

“I knew Gregorio (Paltrinieri) was going to start fast, but I didn’t think he was going to be that fast,” Wellbrock outlined the finale. And in the final sprint, he got the water from Finke. “I swam right next to him for the first time. He ate me like that. He’s making waves, it’s incredible,” said the 24-year-old football player, and he is nevertheless very happy with the result of the Magdeburg team. His club partner Lucas Martens was fourth, Ukrainian Mykhailo Romanchuk, who was in the training group, was fifth. “Then we can go home to the hotel very satisfied,” said Wellbrock.

The 4×1500 meter relay in open water is already for him on Sunday. “Now I need to recover quickly. But many things are easier in the team,” Wellbrock said.

Anna Elendt is fifth in the 50m breaststroke

Before her bronze medal, Anna Elendt was also fifth in the 50m breaststroke and Ole Braunschweig was sixth in the 50m backstroke. “I was pretty excited, and there’s only one thing wrong with being 50. I wanted so much, then the frequency was too high. It just didn’t fit,” said the 100m breaststroke silver medalist, who swam in black instead of the usual pink suit. “I wanted to wear a new suit after 50, but unfortunately I didn’t have a pink suit anymore,” Elendt said.

“I’m happy. Sixth in the world,” said Braunschweig, who also won a disqualification from American Justin Ress, who dived too long from the start. “Americans always like to push it, this time it was too far,” said the Berliner. who then finished 6th in the 4x100m medley relay with Lucas Macerati, Eric Friese and Rafael Miroslav.

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