The hunt for the title has begun at the German short course swimming championships in Wuppertal. South African swimming star Chad Le Clos and 13-year-old Alina Baievych are among the first winners.
The fact that the 13-year-old from TB Erlangen was the first to hit the adult butterfly on her parade course over 200 meters is not entirely surprising. At the German annual championships in May, she already excelled with eight gold medals. In June she then surprised on the long distance over the 200 meters when she finished third in the adult DM behind the German champion Marie Brockhaus (SV Nikar Heidelberg/2:13.86), who was born in Rheda-Wiedenbrück.
Baievych smashes the record and leaves Brockhaus behind
She had already set a German age group record with 2:14.27 minutes, which she is now doing in the Wuppertal in the lead (2:13.56) conceded again. Only to then pulverize it in the finale. With her 2:11.89 minutes, the 13-year-old was more than two seconds behind Brockhaus (2:14.21), who was second this time.
The German short course record (2:03.01) set by Franziska Hentke in 2015 and the world record (1:59.61) set by the Spaniard Mireia Belmonte in 2014 are still a long way off, but Alina Baievych is only 13 years old.
Olympic champion Chad Le Clos wins three titles for Frankfurt
It remains to be seen whether the woman from Erlangen will be able to advance into similar spheres as the Olympic champion and multiple world champion Chad Le Clos. But at least she was able to observe up close in Wuppertal how one of the stars of her sport still delivers on the home straight of his career. The 30-year-old South African, who competes for SG Frankfurt, triumphed on Thursday in Wuppertal with the mixed medley relay and in the evening over 200 meters butterfly (1:51.01).
On Friday, Le Clos then also dominated over 50 meters and easily won the title in 22.66 seconds. Le Clos switched to coach Dirk Lange’s Frankfurt training group in September to get new impetus for the 2024 Olympics after the disappointing summer games in 2021. Since Le Clos has joined the SG Frankfurt, he can officially start at the DM and become German champion.
A swimmer from the talent factory of SG Dortmund was also allowed to cheer. Luca Nik Armbruster, who now starts for SG Neukölln, relegated local hero Moritz Schaller (48.11) to silver in the supreme discipline over 100 meters freestyle with a time of 48.05 seconds.
More podium places for NRW swimmers
The clubs from North Rhine-Westphalia did not have a title at the start of the German Championships, but were able to celebrate more podium finishes alongside Schaller’s. Nina Sandrine Jazy (Dortmund) took silver in the 100 meter freestyle, while Anna-Lena Kuhn (Hamm) won bronze in the triumph of 13-year-old Baievych.
In the 4 x 50 m individual medley relay, the mixed quartet from SC Aqua Köln (Metin Aydin, Ida Hulkko, Jessica Felsner, Christoph Fildebrandt) also came in second. On Friday Jennifer Pietrasch from Essen won bronze over 200 meters backstroke.