The German Swimming Federation (DSV) has eased standards for qualification for the World Championships in Barcelona this July and August. The argument of head coach Henning Lambertz is clear: swimmers put everything into selection and then fall into a post-trials trough that leaves them shy of best come the big occasion proper.
The German Championships and selection trials will be staged in berlin from April 25 to 28 this year. "Athletes should always have in mind that the German Championships is only 'qualification'," said Henning in a federation statement. "The ultimate goal must be the top event, not the 'DM' [national champs]. If we set our sights [selection times] as high as in the past, the athlete is relieved to have reached the standard …" and then dives into "a hole from which … they cannot get out of".
Germany will take the top 2 in each event inside qualification target to Barcelona, with performances inside the world top 24 in 2011 in prelims and world top 16 in 2011 in the final.
German swimmers who made the finals at London 2012 - Britta Steffen (50m freestyle, 24.46), Steffen Deibler (100m butterfly, 51.81), Paul Biedermann (200m frees, 1:45.53) and Markus Deibler (200m medley, 1:59.10) - must finish in the top 2 in their events but their Olympic times will be considered for selection. Lambertz said: "This is a kind of bonus for the elite athletes. This bonus is a recognition of the achievements from the past year and a vote of confidence on my part."