BERLIN, Germany, June 22. THE German Championships started in strong fashion on Wednesday as Britta Steffen set a national record in the 100-meter freestyle, knocking Franziska van Almsick from the record book. The meet is serving as the selection event for this summer’s European Championships in Budapest.
Negotiating the two-lap freestyle in 54.29, Steffen dipped under the 2002 standard of van Almsick. Two other women went under the 55-second mark as Annika Liebs was clocked in 54.71 and Petra Dallman touched the wall in 54.85. Danielle Gotz checked in with a fourth-place effort of 55.00.
Helge Meeuw was the only double-winner on the first day of championship finals as he claimed gold in the 50 backstroke and 200 butterfly. In the backstroke sprint, Meeuw turned in a mark of 25.32, slightly quicker than the 25.36 of Steffen Driesen and the 25.41 of Thomas Rupprath. Meeuw then won the 200 fly in 1:57.31, ahead of the 1:58.64 of Benjamin Starke.
Annika Mehlhorn and Marco Di Carli also prevailed. While Mehlhorn won the women’s 200 fly in 2:10.11, Di Carli bested the competition in the 100 freestyle with a swim of 49.47, just clear of the 49.61 registered by Steffen Deibler. Other winners were Paul Biedermann in the men’s 400 free (3:48.76), Johannes Neumann in the men’s 100 breast (1:02.11), Simone Weiler in the women’s 100 breast (1:09.19) and Janina-Kristin Gotz in the women’s 400 free (4:14.40).