World Championships, Day Two Finals: Angelina Kohler Adds 100 Fly Gold to Record Times

Photo Courtesy: Giorgio Perottino / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

World Championships, Day Two Finals: Angelina Kohler Adds 100 Fly Gold to Record Times

Angelina Kohler provided one of the highlights of semifinals on Sunday at the World Aquatics Championships in Doha with a German record in the 100 fly.

She didn’t match that speed Monday, but then she didn’t need to.

Kohler went 56.28 to win gold in the women’s 100 fly. It’s the first gold medal for a German woman at the World Championships since Britta Steffen did the 50/100 free double at the 2009 Games in Rome.

Kohler set the pace in prelims at 56.11 seconds, a German record. It was nearly a second quicker than the national marks she set last summer.

“It was a surprise for me to win this competition because I came here with the best time overall of 57 and now I am overwhelmed and it is great,” Kohler said. “Before the start, I listen to a lot of music – it gives me so much power and helps to stay focused and calm. It is always like telling myself ‘you can do it, you are the best’ and encouraging myself.”

Even a fraction slower on Monday, she was still well ahead of the pack. She turned first ahead of American Claire Curzan, then was the fastest coming home in the field at 30.08 seconds.

It’s a significant medal for Germany, in this World Championships where the doors to different nations are more open than normal given the absences. The Germans won a solitary bronze in Fukuoka last summer, courtesy of Lukas Martens in the 400 free. With Martens and Isabel Gose getting bronzes in their respective 400 free events, they’ve already rocketed past that disappointing total from last summer.

“It will take some time until I realize what I have just achieved for German swimming,” Kohler said. “It means so much that my head just cannot take it, I am speechless. I have a huge support here. It is incredible. My parents are here and cheering for me. It is so nice. It is a special moment. All the hard work has paid off.”

Curzan finished in 56.61 to earn silver, a sixth career Worlds medal for the 19-year-old who didn’t go to Fukuoka last summer.

“I really executed the race the way me and my coach had talked about,” Curzan said. “This was a super important result and I am pretty happy with the double I have done. It is just great to be back on this stage again and I am excited despite the fact that it was super hard.”

Third place went to Louise Hansson of Sweden in 56.94. She just held off a charging Briannna Throssel, the Australian going from sixth at the wall to fourth in 56.97.

Anna Ntountounaki of Greece finished fifth, ahead of Aussie Alexandria Perkins. Erin Gallagher of South Africa was seventh, unable to better the African record (57.59) she had set in prelims. Chiharu Iitsuka of Japan finished eighth.

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