WM gold for Wellbrock, Muffels is third - sport
- At the World Swimming Championships in South Korea, the open water swimmers Florian Wellbrock and Rob Muffels won the first two medals for the German Swimming Association.
- Wellbrock won gold over the ten-kilometer distance, Muffels was third.
- Both are now qualified for the Olympic Games next year in Tokyo.
He had time to think. Maybe that's the crux of a ten-kilometer race: turning off your head for almost two hours does not work. And so Florian Wellbrock swam lap by lap in the harbor basin of the South Korean city Yeosu, on the last one came to him then suddenly a thought. "At some point such a series has to break," he thought, having won six races in a row in open water this year. But when he finally got out of the water and moved his arms upwards to cheer, it was also clear: The series stopped.
It had to fight Wellbrock to the end of it, with the minuteness of 0.2 seconds ahead, he struck in front of the Frenchman Marc-Antoine Olivier. At the age of 21, Wellbrock is now world champion for the first time, having spent 1: 47: 55.9 hours grazing the Korean waters. The moment on the podium he could enjoy with his friend and training partner from Magdeburg: Rob Muffels also conquered a medal, the 24-year-old came 1.5 seconds behind Wellbrock to the finish and won bronze.
"I've always thought of the last nights before falling asleep, you want to become world champion," said Wellbrock, "that I've done that now, has yet to arrive in the head." For the German Swimming Federation (DSV) it is the first world title since the gold medal of breast swimmer Marco Koch 2015.
Florian Wellbrock has become a man of happy moments in the DSV: At the European Championships last year he had already heard the anthem before. At that time, Wellbrock stroked over 1,500 meters to gold, also returned home with bronze over 800 meters and silver with the 4x1.25-kilometer mixed relay. And his European title was more valuable than many others in swimming: Wellbrock had conjured the fourth fastest swimming time ever in the pool.
And also on this Tuesday in South Korea, the sentence of his coach Bernd Berkhahn from back then remembered: "Now it really starts." This can be well transferred to the World Cup program: For the pelvic competitions, it will continue for Wellbrock starting next Tuesday with starts over 800 and 1500 meters. "Such a ten-kilometer race is pretty clean," he said. "Now I have to regenerate."