Swimming World Championship: After silver start: Wellbrock ready for title defense

Swimming World Championship
After a silver start: Wellbrock ready to defend his title

The silver medal in the 800 meter freestyle could be an additional motivational boost for Florian Wellbrock. Photo: Petr David Josek/AP/dpa

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Florian Wellbrock has won the first 800-meter medal at a long-distance world championships and thus eliminated a sore point. In Budapest everything boils down to the showdown over 1500 meters.

Florian Wellbrock has made his peace with the 800-meter freestyle distance, now his parade disciplines are coming. After his silver medal at the swimming world championships in Budapest, the man from Magdeburg seemed relaxed and relaxed, but above all aggressive.

“The 1500 meters are my best hobby horse,” said the 24-year-old meaningfully towards Friday, when the heat is due, but especially in terms of the final on Saturday. And don’t forget: From Sunday we’re going to the open water.

Medal as a “chest solver” for Wellbrock

The fact that he now has his first precious metal on his worry distance of 800 meters could be an additional motivational boost for the open water Olympic champion. “Now comes the regeneration, then it starts,” said Wellbrock with visible anticipation. And coach Bernd Berkhahn said: «I think the medal is a chest loser. That gives you a lot of security in your own form.” In general, you can literally tell the Magdeburger’s desire to swim at the moment. Even in training, Berkhahn had to slow him down a bit in Budapest.

Everything boils down to a four, if Wellbrock has his way, a pentathlon for the medals on the longest pool distance. 800-meter world champion Bobby Finke from the USA, Italian Gregorio Paltrinieri, friend and training partner Mykhailo Romantschuk from Ukraine and Wellbrock as the defending champion are the big favorites. And then there’s 400m silver medalist Lukas Märtens.

Wellbrock would like his Magdeburg club colleague, who had missed the 800-meter final, to also fight for precious metal. “I hope that there won’t be another one,” said the native of Bremen and Berkhahn added with a view to his flagship athlete: “We can still look forward to great world championships.”

It will be interesting to see what tactics Berkhahn uses to send his protégés into the race if all three swimmers training in Magdeburg make it to the final. Everyone swims differently due to their physical condition. With the power density of the top athletes, there should probably be a tight final sprint again, in which Finke was always the fastest both at the Olympics and at the World Championships in Budapest. But already on the 800-meter distance it could be seen that Wellbrock came very close to him. “We’re close,” said Berkhahn and predicted: “It could be an even closer race than the 800 meters.”


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