BERLIN, Germany, April 25. YANNICK Lebherz kicked off the German nationals, serving as the world championship trials, with a national record in the men's 400 individual medley as six swimmers put their names on the country's travel roster for Barcelona.
Lebherz's time of 4:12.47 lowered the national record of 4:14.02 that he set in 2011, and puts him third in the world rankings for 2013, behind Japan's Kosuke Hagino (4:07.61) and Italy's Federico Turrini (4:11.55). Lebherz placed 11th at last year's Olympics with a 4:15.41. Placing second today was 18-year-old Kevin Wedel, who set a German junior record with a 4:17.33 that put him on the world championship squad as well. Third place went to Morten Ahme with a 4:21.08.
Leonie Beck and Sarah Kohler put their names on the German world team roster in the women's 1500 freestyle, with Beck, just 15 years old, posting a 16:11.88 to set a German junior record. The time puts her sixth in the world rankings for the non-Olympic event. Kohler stands seventh in the world with her runner-up time of 16:15.05. Lena-Sophie Bermel was well back in third with a 16:58.88.
Two more swimmers were added to the team in the men's 800 freestyle, with Soren Meissner winning with a 7:55.63, ahead of University of Georgia senior Martin Grodzki's 7:58.85. Meissner's time puts him seventh in the 2013 world rankings. Third place went to Robert Nussle with an 8:03.18.
The women's 400 IM was the only race of the day to not automatically add swimmers to the world championship squad. Kathrin Demler won the race with a 4:45.15, just eight tenths off FINA's automatic qualifying time of 4:44.53. Tina Ruger placed second with a 4:49.10 while Finnia Wunram was third with a 4:49.89.