Germany’s Jacob Heidtmann & Marius Kusch Punch Provisional Tokyo 2020 Tickets At Pro Swim In Des Moines

Jacob Heidtmann - Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

Germany’s Jacob Heidtmann and Marius Kusch, both training under the guidance of coach David Marsh in San Diego, raced inside the cut for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in action at the TYR Pro Swim Series in Des Moines last night.

For Heidtmann, a 4:12.40 victory over 400m medley, produced a provisional ticket to Tokyo with a bonus card in the mix: a second shot in the Olympic pool four years after he was disqualified  at his first Games in Rio after finishing fifth fastest in heats. Last night, he put on show the work he’s been putting in as he raced well inside the 4:15.0 cut set by Germany.

Kusch as first over the line yesterday, a prelims effort of 51.54 in the 100m butterfly inside the 51.80 target and punching his Tokyo ticket provisional in nature only in so far as there being two berths per nation per event at the Games and the German Championships in Berlin (April 30 – May 3) offer a last chance for swimmers to show their hand.

Those inside time cuts must show up but can be overtaken for a ticket to Tokyo only if two others finished ahead of then and race further inside target than they already have. The top two in each event among those inside times cuts will be nominated for selection by the DOSB (German Olympic Committee). Relays will be selected from the best times swum by individuals from either heats or finals at nationals.

All events scheduled for the next three months, including the European Championships in Budapest in May, are subject to what happens next in the coronavirus global health emergency.

Heidtmann, of Elmshorn, Schleswig-Holstein, recalled the events of Rio, how they had motivated him and how looked forward to setting things right:

“I am very much looking forward to rewriting my Olympic Games chapter. Of course, it’s still in there somewhere in my head that I was disqualified after qualifying in fifth at Rio 2016. Even though I still think that I was wrongly disqualified at the time, the fact that the final was taken away motivated me. But I’m totally positive and I’m not afraid, I’ve never been disqualified since.”

In the ‘fly final, Kusch, the European short-course champion from SG Essen, took third place behind world champion and record holder Caeleb Dressel (50.92) and Michael Andrew (51, 33). Said Kusch, who would make his Olympic debut in Tokyo:

“Qualifying for the Olympics had always been my childhood dream. I am really happy, also because Jacob made it here. And of course we will continue to accelerate until summer. ”

On Thursday in Des Moines, both Heidtmann and Kusch tried out for relay Tokyo tickets, Kusch on 49.15 in the 100m free, the solo cut for Germans in that events a 48.50. In a time trials, Heidtmann clocked 1:46.87 over 200m free, just shy of the 1:46.70 solo cut for Germany.

The list so far of German’s qualified for Tokyo: double World Champion Florian Wellbrock, World short-course 1500m free record holder Sarah Köhler, and Philip Heintz, are all certain of their tickets, while Marco Koch and Laura Riedemann have, like Kusch and Heidtmann, have raced inside cut times.