BERLIN, May 23. BY now, the majority of the globe's nations have completed their World Championship Trials and are in the midst of preparing for this summer's competition in Montreal. Then, there's Germany, which is currently holding its selection meet. And, through two days, the German Nationals have produced some quality swims.
The reigning world champ in the 100 backstroke, Antje Buschschulte got the event rolling in impressive fashion on Saturday, as she notched first place in her specialty event with a performance of 1:00.98. That effort, however, wasn't the only solid showing, thanks to the presence of Teresa Rohmann in the 400 individual medley.
Rohmann, an Athens Olympian, cruised to the wall in 4:44.62 and outdistanced Nicole Hetzer, who registered a mark of 4:47.06. Hetzer was the fifth-place finisher at the 2003 World Champs and placed sixth at last summer's Olympics. In other women's action, Jana Henke enjoyed an opening-day triumph in the 800 free (8:37.27).
For the men, the opening night was highlighted by the men's 100 freestyle, which featured five individuals under the 50-second barrier. Marco di Carli picked up first place, as his 49.53 swim was quicker than the 49.65 turned in by Leif-Marten Kruger. The third through fifth-place finishers were Stefan Herbst (49.83), Jens Schreiber (49.87) and Lars Conrad (49.94).
In the 100 butterfly, Helge Meeuw edged Thomas Rupprath. Meeuw hit the wall in 52.53, with Rupprath right behind in 52.60. Meanwhile, Johannes Neumann won the 200 breast in 2:15.22.
On the second day of action, di Carli and Meeuw continued to sizzle, as they shared a triumph in the 100 backstroke, with Rupprath finishing fourth in 54.84. Steffen Driesen slipped in for third place at 54.82. Also prevailing in men's events were Christian Hein in the 1,500 freestyle (15:13.77) and Lukasz Wojt in the 400 individual medley (4:21.79).
Anne Poleska and Annika Mehlhorn stood out among the women, with Poleska taking first place in the 200 breast and Mehlhorn emerging victorious in the 200 butterfly. Poleska, the bronze medalist in Athens, stopped the clock in 2:27.77, ahead of the 2:28.43 of Simone Weiler. As for Mehlhorn, she zipped 2:09.54 in the distance fly, a swim that handed the Olympian nearly a five-second win over Heike Gabriel (2:14.39). As for the 100 free, Daniela Gotz was first to the wall, behind a mark of 54.94. Buschschulte earned second in 55.22 and third place went to Petra Dallman in 55.32.