German Olympic Trials: Fast Swims, Near Misses Highlight Second Day

BERLIN, Germany, May 11. CLOSE battles in the men's 200 freestyle and 200 breaststroke highlighted the second day of competition at the German Olympic Trials, resulting in a few world-class performances.

Paul Biedermann, the 2009 world champion and 2011 world championship bronze medalist, posted a 1:46.70 to put himself seventh in the 2012 world rankings. Yannick Agnel's world-leading 1:44.42 and Danila Izotov's sixth-ranked 1:46.56 are the fastest times swum by Europeans in the event so far this year. Biedermann was fifth in this event at the 2008 Olympics, and had prequalified for London in this event on the basis of his world championship performance.

The competition is serving as one of two Olympic qualification meets for the Germans, with times faster than the FINA A standard required for automatic qualification. The time standards are equivalent to the 10th-place time at last summer's world championships. Some swimmers will have the opportunity to also qualify at the European championships, which start May 21 in Hungary.

In that men's 200 free final, Clemens Rapp placed second with a 1:47.57, just under the German Olympic qualifying time of 1:47.76. Dimitri Colupaev, who competes collegiately in the United States for the University of Southern California, faced a hard-luck situation in finishing third with a 1:47.58. He swam faster than the qualifying time, but only two swimmers per country can swim in London. Colupaev will have an opportunity to beat Rapp's time at the European championships for a spot in the individual event, and will likely be a part of the 800 freestyle relay.

Marco Koch and Christian von Lehn battled in the men's 200 breast final, with Koch out-touching the world championships bronze medalist 2:09.48-2:10.07. Both times are well under the German Olympic qualifying time of 2:11.68, though von Lehn was prequalified based on his bronze medal swim from worlds. Koch now ranks fourth in the world, while von Lehn sits at ninth. Well back in third place was Maximilian Kraus with a 2:14.72.

Other finals
Silke Lippok came within a tenth of making the German team in the women's 200 freestyle with a winning time of 1:57.93. The German swimming federation's standard is 1:57.83, but Lippok swam faster than the FINA A time of 1:58.33. Lippok is on the roster for the European championships, where she can attempt to swim faster. In second place was Theresa Michalak in 1:59.12, just ahead of Daniela Schreiber's 1:59.41.

Jenny Mensing won the non-Olympic 50 backstroke in 28.70, followed by Doris Eichorn's 28.99 and Lisa Graf's 29.05. Helge Meeuw won the men's 50 back in 25.27, with Alibek Kasler second with a 25.78 and Stefan Herbst third in 25.85.

Sarah Poewe took the women's 200 breaststroke final in 2:27.47, missing the Olympic qualifying time of 2:25.92. Caroline Ruhnau was second with a 2:27.59. Both swimmers will have another opportunity to make the Olympic team at the European championships. In third place was Vanessa Grimberg with a 2:29.50.