BERLIN, Germany, April 18. HEADING into the World Championships in Melbourne, there were high expectations for a strong showing by Germany. Ultimately, the nation didn't enjoy a spectacular meet. However, it seems the country's swimmers rebounded over the weekend, based on performances from the German National Championships.
Six national records were wiped out, suggesting that the athletes peaked just a couple of weeks later than what would have been preferred. Meanwhile, a number of strong showings were posted across the board, highlighted by Britta Steffen. The former world-record holder in the 100 freestyle, Steffen set a German record in the 50 free with a clocking of 24.66. She also took top honors in the 100 free with a superb effort of 53.57, not far off her national standard of 53.30.
The 200 breaststroke records for both genders were broken. On the men's side, Andreas Losel checked in with a mark of 2:11.97. As for the women, Birte Steven produced a national-record time of 2:25.33. The other records were courtesy of Thomas Rupprath in the 50 butterfly (23.46), Marco Di Carli in the 100 free (48.88) and Kamil Kasprowicz in the 200 individual medley (2:00.47).
Rupprath, long known for his sprinting ability, also won the 50 backstroke (25.14) and the 100 fly (53.01). In the women's 200 freestyle, Annika Lurz, the silver medalist in the event in Melbourne, turned in a time of 1:56.26 for the gold medal. She was complemented as a winner by Thomas Lurz, who prevailed in the 800 free (7:58.14) and 1500 free (15:16.81).