Swimming World Championship: Sarah Köhler wins silver over 1500 meters freestyle
Sarah Köhler won over 1,500 meters of freestyle at the World Swimming Championships in South Korea. The 25-year-old beat after 15: 48.83 minutes and remained well below the German record (previously: 15: 54.08 minutes, also set up by Köhler). She was defeated eight seconds behind Italian Simona Quadarella.
"I was still worried that someone would come swimming from behind, but on the last lane I knew: Okay - that's enough," said Köhler. Bronze went to the 17-year-old Chinese Wang Jianjiahe.
After the lead-off from Köhler's friend Florian Wellbrock over 800 meters freestyle in the morning Köhler made around nine hours later for the first medal of the German pool swimmer in the title fights in Gwangju.
Köhler already won relay gold in open water swimming
Köhler also profited from the success of the absence of American series winner Katie Ledecky. "Everyone flirted with gold after Katie canceled the finals," said Koehler ZDF. The 22-year-old from the USA had withdrawn her start for health reasons. The five-time Olympic champion and 14-time world champion had previously suffered over 400 meters freestyle a surprising defeat.
By contrast, Köhler had already been able to celebrate gold in Yeosu last week. She won the open water relay over 4 x 1.25 kilometers. Köhler is the first female swimmer to win gold at indoor and outdoor championships after Dutch Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal (2015).
The athlete spokeswoman also secured the first individual medal of a German freestyle swimmer since winning the gold medal of Britta Steffen ten years ago. It was the first German medal since 2003 over the 1500 meter freestyle, when Hannah Stockbauer had won gold and Jana Henke was third.
For the European Championships Köhler it was the biggest international success in the pool. She filled up the World Cup account of the German Swimming Federation with seven medals. Last week, the open water swimmers had presented with twice gold, once silver and twice bronze. In addition, the water jumpers Tina Punzel and Lou Massenberg contributed a bronze medal.