German Olympic Trials: Yannick Lebherz Punches Ticket to Olympics; Britta Steffen Posts Swift Relay Leadoff

BERLIN, Germany, May 10. YANNICK Lebherz was the first person to earn a guaranteed spot on the Olympic roster at the German Olympic Trials taking place in Berlin.

Lebherz gave his German record a run in the men's 400 IM with a winning time of 4:14.90. That swim fell off his 4:14.02 set last year in Berlin. He moved to 14th in the world this year, and easily cleared the FINA A cut of 4:16.46, as well as the internal German qualifying standard of 4:16.95 to lock down a spot for the London Olympics. Jacob Heidtmann (4:21.11) and Kevin Wedel (4:21.20) placed second and third in the finale.

Katharina Schiller won the women's 400 IM in 4:44.52, missing the FINA A cut of 4:41.75 but provisionally qualifying for the Olympics ahead of the FINA B cut of 4:51.75. She did, however, miss the internal German qualifying time of 4:38.84 by a wide margin. Tina Ruger finished second in 4:51.22, while Finnia Wunram wound up third in 4:52.38.

In non-Olympic events, Manuel Schwarz won the men's 800 freestyle in 8:02.04. Rob Muffels took second in 8:04.68, while Poul Zellmann finished third in 8:04.70. Leonie Antonia Beck topped the women's 1500 free in 16:41.69. Natalie Charlos finished second in 16:42.99, while Denise Gruhn placed third in 16:52.26.

SG Essen's Ensar Hajder, Steffen Hillmerr, Jan Konopka and Thomas Rueter won the men's 400 free relay in 3:22.66. SG Nuekolln's Britta Steffen, Dorothea Brandt, Isabelle Tschirch and Gozde Tekin took the women's 100 freestyle title in 3:44.52. Steffen dropped a 53.65 leadoff time to move to fourth in the world rankings behind only Ranomi Kromowidjojo (52.75), Sarah Sjostrom (53.29) and Fran Halsall (53.57).