BERLIN, Germany, April 22. IT was a good day to be named Steffen at the German Olympic Trials held in Berlin. One Steffen (Britta) broke the European record in the women's 100 free, another Steffen (Deibler) took down the German record in the men's 50 free.
A third national record also fell in the women's 800 free relay. Stephanie Guht, Lena Kalla, Annika Lurz and Karoline Degenhardt clocked a time of 8:14.81 to smash the 8:16.74 set back in 2004.
Former world-record holder Britta Steffen blistered the pool in the women's 100 free as she broke her European record time of 53.30. That performance had stood as the global standard until Libby Trickett shattered it with a 52.88 last month. Steffen completed her new continental standard swim with a time of 53.20, the second-fastest time in history now.
Petra Dallmann (54.90), Antje Buschschulte (55.04) and Daniela Gotz (55.04) completed the top four finishers in the event.
Steffen Deibler reclaimed his German record in the men's 50 free with a time of 22.11, erasing the 22.15 set by Rafed El-Masri in prelims. El-Masri had broken Deibler's previous record of 22.26 set in 2005 with a strong morning swim. El-Masri matched Deibler's old standard during finals with a second-place 22.26. Johannes Dietrich (22.51) and Martin Kutscher (22.81) rounded out the top four.
After breaking the European record in the men's 100 back with a time of 53.10, Helge Meeuw came back with a winning time of 1:57.92 in the 200, well off his German standard of 1:56.34. Felix Wolf placed second in 1:59.68, but fell short of the Olympic qualifying standard.
Three swimmers cleared the Olympic cut in the women's 200 breast, but only two will make the Beijing trip. Sarah Poewe finished just off the German record of 2:25.33 set by Birte Steven last year as Poewe touched in 2:25.53 for the victory. Anne Poleska placed second in 2:25.79, while Vipa Bernhardt was the hard-luck third-place finisher in 2:26.87. Steven finished back in fifth with a 2:31.57.
In the men's 200 IM, Markus Deibler won a close battle for first with a time of 2:02.23. Dimitri Colupaev took second in 2:02.81, while Dominique Lendjel placed third in 2:02.98. However, all three missed the Olympic standard of 2:00.53.
Jenny Mensing (2:12.29) and Christin Zenner (2:12.61) had an exciting finish in the women's 200 back, but both missed the Olympic cut of 2:11.20.