Germany’s Marco Koch Firing on All Cylinders in Slovakia

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia, May 24. GERMANY’s Marco Koch has had a pretty impressive weekend thus far at the Slovakia Grand Prix held in Bratislava.

A day after picking up an upset victory against world-record holder Cameron van der Burgh in the men’s 100-meter breast, Koch remained on fire as he set the meet record in the men’s 200-meter breaststroke. That downed Koch’s prelim swim of 2:12.51 that set the record this morning. Koch has been much faster this year with a second-ranked 2:08.51 at German Nationals, but he was pretty lonely tonight considering Pavol Fazik took a distant second in 2:20.70. Levente Sardi placed third in 2:21.98.

Kristian Takacs cruised to victory in the men’s 50-meter freestyle finale with a 22.78. That swim beat his previous meet record of 22.90 set just a year ago here in Bratislava. Breaststroke star Cameron van der Burgh, showing off a bit of his range, took second in the swim with a 23.39. Michal Navara checked in with a third-place time of 23.58.

Birgit Koschischek topped the women’s 50-meter free in 25.67, nearly setting a meet record along the way. Annika Bruhn placed second in 26.28 with Ionela Cosma of Romania finishing third in the finale with a 26.29.

Gabor Balog took the men’s 50-meter backstroke title out of a tight finish with two other swimmers. Balog touched in 26.45 with Gianni Ferrero (26.56) and David Kuncar (26.99) also breaking 27 seconds to make the finish interesting.

Jenny Mensing followed in the women’s 50-meter back with a 28.96 for the win. Katarina Listopadova checked in with a second-place time of 29.03, while Karolina Hajkova claimed third in 29.54. Katarzyna Gorniak also broke 30 seconds with a fourth-place 29.78.

Michal Poprawa blasted the field in the men’s 200-meter fly finale with a 2:00.97, while Marcin Malczyk (2:10.29) and Jakub Tomas (2:11.31) finished second and third in the event. Notably, Karol Puzser (2:05.40) and Roman Bischof (2:09.97) went faster than Malczyk in the consolation final.

Dalma Sebestyen claimed the women’s 200-meter fly title in 2:11.80, while Claudia Hufnagl touched second in 2:15.26. Katharina Himmler placed third in 2:22.11. Sabina Kupcova set the Slovakian record for 11 year olds with a 2:42.09 in the second final of the night. That beat her previous record of 2:43.98 set during prelims.

Monica Stepanova won the women’s 200-meter breast title in 2:36.01, while Christina Northdurfter (2:38.22) and Aurelia Tmovcova (2:41.51) took second and third. Andrea Podmanikova had the best swim of the night in the juniors finale, however, as she clocked a 2:35.71 to set the Slovakian junior record. That swim beat a long-standing 2:36.24 set by Miriam Bystrianska way back in 1991 here in Bratislava.

Richard Nagy topped the men’s 400-meter IM timed final in 4:25.56 with Marek Osina finishing second in 4:36.66. Ivan Fratric rounded out the top three in the distance medley event with a 4:42.76. Veronika Kolnikova powered her way to the women’s 400-meter IM title in 5:00.94, while Kamila Kunka took second in 5:04.36. Barbara Bartovicova finished third in the timed final event with a 5:06.85.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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