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Samulski 'WR' Highlights Fast-Suits Farce

Jun 26, 2009  - Craig Lord

Organisers of the German world-championship trials in Berlin will, it is to be hoped, insist that Daniela Samulski is marched to the anti-doping room this evening. For the German swimmer has just set what is likely to be declared a world record, even though her 27.61sec effort over 50m backstroke is the fourth-best time ever.

The other three times, by Anastasia Zueva (RUS), include a 27.47 swum in an arena X-Glide before approval of a modified version of the suit, and a 27.56, swum in a legal arena suit but impossible to ratify because organisers of the Mare Nostrum tour in Monaco did not dope test the swimmer, believing that 27.47 was the world record and therefore no doping test was required.

The Russian lost 25,000 euros in bonus money as a consequence of the suits fiasco, which has left Samulski the likely new world record holder, her time inside the 27.67 at which the global mark had been held jointly by Sophie Edington (AUS) and Zhao Jing (CHN). In Berlin, Deborah Gonschorek, SV Halle (Saale), took second in 28.94, with Christin Zenner, VfV Hildesheim, third in 29.15, listed as a German junior record. Samulski later followed through with a 26.65 win in the 50m butterfly.

The official result sheet is a collectors' item. It reads:

  • Weltrekord 00:27,47 Anastasia Zueva RUS 28.04.2009 Moscow 
  • Europarekord 00:27,85 Daniel Samulski GER 25.06.2009 Berlin 
  • Deutscher Rekord 00:27,83 Daniela Samulski SG Essen 14.06.2009 Monte Carlo 
  • A-Finale 
  • 1. Daniela Samulski 1984 SG Essen 00:27,61 WR

They will have to do their homework when they come to write FINA's 200th anniversary tome.

Samulski is not new to the world-record books: when Germany set a global mark of 7:50.82 to win the European 4x200m free crown in Budapest in 2006, Samulski did her bit with a 1:58.27 split alongside Petra Dallmann, Britta Steffen and Annika Liebs.

In Berlin this evening, the 50m free final saw Steffen Deibler, Hamburger SC, clock 22.19 to get the touch over Rafed El-Masri, SG Essen, on 22.27, with Christoph Fildebrandt, SG Bayer Wup/Uer/Dor, third in 22.71. 

The adidas Hydofoil in which Britta Steffen set what may become a world record of 52.85 in the heats of the 100m free yesterday is not a common sight at the Berlin event, as yet.

The men's 50m breaststroke witnessed another rarity: Hendrik Feldwehr, SG Essen, and Johannes Neumann, SC Riesa tied for the win in 27.30, listed a a German record, ahead of Marco Koch, DSW 1912 Darmstadt, on 28.04.  We can assume Feldwehr, 23, had a slinky number on his skin: his best last year: 28.32.

In the women's sprint breaststroke, two of Germany's established internationals found themselves outpaced by improvers: Kerstin Vogel, 24, SV Rhenania Köln, won in 31.20 (2008 best of 31.58) and Caroline Ruhnau, 25, SG Essen, on 31.37, up from a 2008 best of 32.26. That left Sarah Poewe, SG Bayer Wup/Uer/Dor, third in 31.58, and German record holder (30.89) Janne Schäfer, SV Nikar Heidelberg, fourth in 31.60.

Regime change continued in the 50m butterfly, the German record that had stood at 23.46 to Thomas Rupprath  since 2007, succumbing to a fast-suited swim  by Johannes Dietrich, 24 and from SC Wiesbaden 1911, winner on 23.43. Rupprath, 32 and of SC Empor Rostock 2000, was just behind, on 23.50, with Steffen Deibler, Hamburger S, third in 23.57.

The 200m free for women was won by Silke Lippok, SSG Pforzheim, in 1:59.65, with Daniela Schreiber, SV Halle (Saale) on 1:59.94, and Franziska Jansen, SV Hellas Brühl, on 2:00.11.