Lukas Märtens Rockets To The Top Of The 200 Free Rankings; Melvin Imoudu Sets German 50m Breaststroke Mark

Lukas Märtens: Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Lukas Märtens Rockets To The Top Of The 200 Free Rankings; Melvin Imoudu Lowers German 50m Breaststroke Record

Lukas Märtens rocketed to the top of the 200 free rankings after firing off a 1:44.14 PB and Melvin Imoudu lowered the national 50m breaststroke record at the German Championships in Berlin.

Märtens served notice of his intentions in the prelims when he fired off 1:44.89, then the second-fastest time of his career behind the 1:44.79 he posted leading off the German 4×2 quartet that finished seventh at the 2023 World Championships in Fukuoka.

Splits: 24.27/50.71 (26.44)/1:17.57 (26.86)/ 1:44.14 (26.57)

Märtens went through the first 100 in 50.71 before coming back in 53.43 to dislodge Matt Richards at the top of the rankings with the 2023 world champion having gone 1:44.69 to win the British Olympic trials in early April.

Coached by Bernd Berkhahn, the 22-year-old’s performance was the 14th fastest in history and the third swiftest since the supersuits were consigned to history after the landscape was distorted in 2008 and 2009.

Since then only David Popovici – with his 1:42.97 at the 2022 Europeans – and Yannick Agnel who went 1:43.14 at the 2012 Olympics, have eclipsed Märtens’ time.

It followed his 3:40.33 in the 400 free where he went within 0.26 of Paul Biedermann’s world record of 3:40.07, propelling himself to fourth performer all-time behind his fellow German, Ian Thorpe and Sun Yang, the man still towing a doping ban.

Danny Schmidt (1:48.61) and Philipp Peschke (1:49.00) were second and third respectively with Märtens set to be joined in the individual event in Paris by Rafael Miroslaw who’d already posted 1:45.84.

Imoudu went 26.62 to slice 0.12 from the 50 breaststroke standard of 26.74 he set at the Eindhoven Qualification Meet earlier this month.

Isabel Gose made it three wins in as many races as she added the 200 free to her 400 and 1500 titles.

She went inside the QT of 1:57.26 in prelims where she posted 1:57.06, a season’s best by more than three seconds.

Come the final and she stormed to victory in a PB of 1:56.66 to go third in the all-time German rankings behind Annika Lurz, whose 1:55.68  national record has stood since the 2007 worlds, and Franziska van Almsick who posted 1:56.64 at the 2002 European Championships.

Julia Mrozinski bagged the second Olympic spot after following Gose home in 1:57.22 while the tussle for a 4×2 relay berth was decided by calculating the average time of prelims and final.

Isabel Gose 1:56.86 (final 1:56.66/preliminaries 1:57.06)

Julia Mrozinski 1:57.91 (1:57.22/1:58.59)

Nele Schulze 1:59.11 (1:59.34/1:58.88)

Nicole Maier 1:59.24 (1:58.39/2:00.08)

Maya Werner 1:59.30 (1:59.54/1:59.06)

Nina Holt 2:00.02 (2:00.14/1:59.89)

David Thomasberger won the men’s 200 fly in  1:56.96 while Alina Baievych sprung a surprise in the women’s race with the 14-year-old setting a German age group record of 2:11.04 en-route to victory ahead of Angelina Köhler who clocked 2:12.62.

Cedric Büssing completed the medley double with victory in the 400IM in 1:59.94 while Kim Herkle upgraded 400IM silver to gold in the women’s short medley in 2:14.44.

Ole Braunschweig was just 0.07 off his national 50 back record in 24.64 while Anna Maria Börstler set an age group record of 28.29 to win the women’s race.

Julia Titze edged Lena Ludwig by the narrowest of margins to win the women’s 50m breaststroke in 32.01 to 32.02.

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