Ramon Klenz Breaks Michael Gross’s German Record To Open German Nationals

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The first night of the 2018 German Swimming Nationals got off to a surprisingly good start with one German record already falling. 20-year-old Roman Klenz broke an even older German record in the 200 butterfly in Berlin on Thursday night. Klenz broke the record that was held by one of the most successful German swimmers in history in Michael Gross.

Men’s 200 Fly

  1. Roman Klenz, 1:55.76 (NR)
  2. David Thomasberger, 1:56.46
  3. Fynn Minuth, 1:57.86

19-year-old Roman Klenz broke the German record in the 200 fly that has been standing since before he was born. Klenz swam a 1:55.76 to break Michael Gross‘s record of 1:56.24 from the 1986 German Championships. Gross was the 1988 Olympic Champion in the event. Klenz made a significant drop from the 1:57 that was his best time before this.

Gross is a 1995 International Swimming Hall of Fame honoree.

Klenz is now eleventh in the world rankings for 2018, as he has a chance to improve on that and put his name on the map at the European Championships in two weeks. He is the third ranked European for 2018 behind the Hungarian duo of Kristof Milak (1:52.71) and Tamas Kenderesi (1:54.14).

Klenz didn’t do it alone as he was pushed by David Thomasberger who finished second at 1:56.46. He was almost under Gross’s record too.

South Carolina rising senior Fynn Minuth finished in third at 1:57.86.

Men’s 400 Free

  1. Poul Zellmann, 3:48.35
  2. Marius Zobel, 3:49.03
  3. Henning Muhlleitner, 3:53.26

Poul Zellmann, the oldest swimmer in the final, won the 400 free with a 3:48.35, successfully defending his title. Marius Zobel broke the age group record for 19-year-olds with a 3:49.03. Zobel was right with Zellmann through 350 meters, but Zellmann used a 27.51 last 50 to pull ahead.

Henning Muhlleitner finished in third at 3:53.26.

Women’s 400 Free

  1. Julia Hassler, 4:10.71 (NR)
  2. Johanna Friedrich, 4:12.66
  3. Lil Zyprian, 4:13.38

Another national record fell on Thursday in Berlin, but this time it was by Liechtenstein’s Julia Hassler, who won the 400 free final with a 4:10.71. Hassler took down her old record of 4:11.68 from earlier this year. Hassler trains in Germany and is competing in Berlin as a tune-up for Europeans.

Johanna Friedrich (4:12.66) and Lil Zyprian (4:13.38) finished second and third to round out the podium.

Women’s 200 Fly

  1. Franziska Hentke, 2:09.09
  2. Alexandra Wenk, 2:11.72
  3. Kathrin Demler, 2:12.23

29-year-old veteran Franziska Hentke won another national title with a 2:09.09 in the 200 fly final in Berlin. Hentke was well off her best time of 2:05.26, and was well off her form she had to win the silver medal last summer at the World Championships in Budapest. But Hentke could have more in the tank, as the big show is in fifteen days in Glasgow at the European Championships. Hentke has already been a 2:07 this year as she is currently ranked third in Europe behind Great Britain’s Alys Thomas (2:05.45) and Spain’s Mireia Belmonte (2:07.09).

 Alexandra Wenk (2:11.72) and Kathrin Demler (2:12.23) finished second and third.

Men’s 50 Breast

  1. Melvin Imoudu, 27.39
  2. Fabian Schwingenschlogl, 27.69
  3. Christian Vom Lehn, 27.89

The second age record of the night went the way of Melvin Imoudu, who upset the veterans Fabian Schwingenschlogl and Christian Vom Lehn. Imoudu, 19, swam a 27.39 to break his own 19-year-old age record.

The old record was a 27.51.

Schwingenschlogl, who won an NCAA title at the University of Missouri, finished in second at 27.69 ahead of Vom Lehn (27.89).

Women’s 50 Breast

  1. Anna Elendt, 31.47
  2. Jessica Steiger, 31.51
  3. Malaika Schneider, 31.57

In one of the closest races of the night, it was 16-year-old Anna Elendt (31.47) who took the win, just a tenth of a second over Jessica Steiger (31.51) and Malaika Schneider (31.57). If Elendt keeps improving at just 16 years of age, she could challenge the German record of 30.77 held by Kerstin Vogel and Dorothea Brandt.

Men’s 100 Back

  1. Christian Diener, 54.60
  2. Ole Braunschweig, 54.79
  3. Mohamed Samy, 55.50

25-year-old veteran Christian Diener won the 100 back final with a 54.60, just over Ole Braunschweig (54.79). Diener has been around the swimming scene for a while in Germany but it is his first national title in the 100 back. It was also the second national title of the night for his club, Postdam SV, which is also the home of Anna Elendt.

Egyptian Mohamed Samy, who swims at Indiana University in the United States, placed third at 55.50.

Women’s 100 Back

  1. Laura Riedemann, 1:00.60
  2. Jenny Mensing, 1:00.82
  3. Barbara Schaal, 1:01.65

The last title of the night went to Laura Riedemann (1:00.60), who finished ahead of Jenny Mensing (1:00.82) and Barbara Schaal (1:01.65).