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.
Open water swimmer Florian Wellbrock has won the gold medal at the World Championships over ten kilometers, team mate Rob Muffels won bronze. The 21-year-old Wellbrock won in South Korea's Yeosu by a thrilling finish sprint in front of the Frenchman Marc-Antoine Olivier and celebrated his biggest international success. He and Muffels also qualified for the Olympia 2020 in Tokyo.
For the German Swimming Association it was the first medals in the title fights in South Korea and the first World Cup gold since 2015. Wellbrock won in a time of 1: 47: 55.9 hours. Just over a year after the European title over 1500 meters in the pool meant the first major title in the open water. "I have always thought of the last nights before falling asleep, you want to become world champion, that I have done that now, must first arrive in the head," said the winner.
"That was a neck-and-neck race," Wellbrock explained. "Rob and I pushed the last few days." Wellbrock won in open water in series this season. "I'll ask myself how long that will be fine, and eventually this lucky streak will have to be over, but I've trained incredibly hard," said the proud Magdeburg.
A "dream" of national coach Lurz comes true
He impressively lived up to his role as a favorite and gained confidence in the pelvic contests with the win. He is the great German hopefuls at the World Cup and next week he wants to attack over 800 and 1500 meters. "He swims very concentrated and does not burn anything" - so had coach Stefan Lurz Wellbrock described in the current season. "Coolness" and "self-assurance" are strengths of the youngster.
And that's what Wellbrock showed: In the calm waters of the harbor basin of the 2012 World Exhibition Center, he was always at the forefront - as was Muffels. Among other things, together with the Italian Olympic champion of 2016 over 1500 meters Gregorio Paltrinieri, five-kilometer champion Kristóf Rasovszky and the British Jack Burnell he set the pace. The leaders pulled the field apart a bit, after half of the race Wellbrock finished fourth and the second German star Rob Muffels finished sixth in the race. In the final spurt, both demonstrated strength.
At the last World Cup in Hungary, the German Open Water Aces had still disappointed and were driven home for the first time since 1994, when only over 25 kilometers in open water, without World Cup medal. Now it worked in the third race with precious metal.
Previously, Finnia Wunram and Leonie Beck had already secured their tickets for the summer games. Thus, the German swimmers have taken all four possible starting places. A "dream" of national coach Lurz was thus fulfilled.