By Special Swimming World Correspondent Pam Roberts
BERLIN, Germany, April 26. DAY two of German Nationals picked up just where day one ended — by adding more athletes to the German roster for the World Championships in Barcelona. Several swimmers had already cracked the automatic qualifying time set by FINA during prelims in the morning, but still didn't shy away from going even faster for their afternoon races.
Closest to breaking a German record was Steffen Deibler in the men's 50 butterfly. He won in a time of 23.35, which is just one hundredth of a second above his own record but also fifth in the world rankings. Second place in the race went to Jonas Bergmann, who set a new German Junior Record of 24.04. Simon Hengel placed third with a 24.17.
Kevin Wedel, who already set a German junior record on the previous day in the 400 IM, did the same today, lowering the record in the 200 IM to 2:01.08. But the tickets to Barcelona for that event went to Markus Deibler (1:58.18) and Philip Heintz (1:58.34), as Wedel settled for third. Deibler's time puts him fourth in the world for 2013.
On the women's side, Theresa Michalak qualified for the world championships with a time of 2:12.66 ahead of Alexandra Wenk's 2:14.21. Kathrin Demler was third with a 2:15.65.
Dorothea Brandt and Caroline Ruhnau continued the successful streak by qualifying for the 50 breast with times of 31.29 and 31.57 respectively, before Hendrik Feldwehr won his final and qualified with a 27.47. Erik Steinhagen took second with a 28.28, and Fabian Schwingenschlogl tied for third with Max Werkmeister with times of 28.33.
Brandt followed her 50 breast win with another title in the 50 fly, taking the win in 26.63. Setting a junior record in second place was Alexandra Wenk with a 26.69, and Paulina Schmeidel took third with a 27.18.
One of the most anticipated races of the afternoon was the men's final of the 400 Freestyle. Paul Biedermann has won the national title every year since 2006 and the question was who was going to win the title in his absence, with Tim Wallburger and Clemens Rupp being top-seeded after the morning's prelims. It was one of the closest races of the day, with Rapp being ahead of Wallburger by 0.02 seconds at the 200 meter mark. In the end, Rapp maintained the lead and won with a time of 3:50.24, with Wallburger in second place in a time of 3:50.41. Jacob Heidtmann was third with a 3:53.51.
The women's 400 freestyle went to Sarah Kohler who posted a time of 4:10.94 only a day after she had already won the National Championship in the 1500 Freestyle. Johanna Friedrich stuck by Kohler's hip for the race, placing second with a 4:11.44. Rosalie Kathner was third with a 4:14.95.
The women's 50 backstroke was without a doubt the tightest final of the day, with not even a second between winner Selina Hocke with a time of 28.69, and ninth-place finisher Mandy Feldbinder with a 29.31. Hocke and runner-up finisher Jenny Mensing, who posted a time of 28.63, both added their names to the German team for the World Championships.
The winner of the men's 50 backstroke was Nicolas Graesser, who swam at the NCAA Championships for North Carolina. Only having arrived in Germany earlier this week, he finished his first-ever German championship race with a winning time of 25.46, just missing the world championship automatic qualifying time. Christian Diener was second in 25.69, and Marek Ulrich set a junior record in third place with a 25.86.