Britain Dominate Duel With Germany 207-109
Feb 21, 2010 - Craig Lord
GBR Vs GER Duel - Day 2
The team buses left the hotel at 7am to deliver the Germany and Britain teams to the Wales National Pool for morning straight finals at a quick-fire duel that gave two of Europe's top swim nations a great start to the competitive season in 2010. The meet ended with a very solid 207 - 109 win for Britain, though the result masked the close nature of some of the races at a time when neither nation was able to field full-strength teams.
At 8.45am Fran Halsall drew first blood for Britain with a 26.92 blast in the 50m 'fly, with Steffen Deibler hitting back for Germany moments later with a 23.87 that produced just as dominant a victory as that enjoyed by Halsall.
Next up, double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington had little trouble in taking the 800m free in 8:42.46 ahead of teammate Aimee Wilmott on 8:46. 78 and Germany's Isabell Haerle on 8:48.10.
In the 1,500m free, David Davies, the only mnan ever to win Olympic medals in pool and open water (bronze, 1500m 2004; silver, marathon 2008), piled on the pressure after 500m and never looked back. Davies turned on 14:34 with 100m to go, the time an echo of an old sparring partner, Grant Hackett, gone from the race pool but never forgotten. The Welshman cheered the boisterous home crowd with a 15:34.81 win.
Daniel Fogg, Davies's training partner with coach Kevin Renshaw at Loughborough, took second in 15:44.45, with European short-course champion, Jan Wolfgarten, training partner of one of Davies's main rivals in the marathon, world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Thomas Lurz, third in 15:52.29. Wolfgarten was among those who last month endured Germany's Battle Camp, conducted by Jorg Hoffmann, 1991 world 1,500m champion and now among those leading Germany's campaign to toughen up.
Halsall was back in 30mins or so after her first race, for a 25.27 win over Dorothea Brandt, on 25.45, in the 50m free. The pattern repeated itself in the men's sprint free, Deibler cracking out a 22.76 win over 22.99 for Grant Turner of Britain.
A quick interlude ensued, for head coaches Denis Pursley, for Britain, and Dirk Lange, for Germany, to provide a deckside view of events, as told to Sarah Price, former world s/c record holder and Olympic finalist and in Swansea gracing the microphone.
Pursley said: "In a lot of cases they [Brit swimmers] have exceeded my expectations. This has been an opportunity to race and it's not about times but about racing. It exposes them to tough racing and highlights their strengths and weaknesses. When you go up against stron opposition, it's about getting your hand to the wall first regardless of whether you're swimming pbs or you're at your best or swimming tired. This has been a great opportunity for both countries. Just two sessions, high energy. The meet organisers (Welsh federation) have done a great job. It was a chance for the swimmers and coaches to see how they're going in an electric environment at this stage of their training."
Lange also extended much-deserved praise to organisers, adding: "We're really pleased to be here ... it's an important meet on the way to London , and to Budapest." The purpose of the weekend had been "race experience and to use of the new equipment (suits) and get used to that. To race GB is always an honour for us and this has been an opportunity to [build up] to race fast in the summer."
Asked later if he expected "Berlin 2011 Revenge" to be a tougher challenge, Pursley told SwimNews through a chuckle: "Absolutely!" Germany will host the duel in 2011, same time of year, and then Britain again in 2012, the year of its home Olympic Games.
After the short head-coach intermission, Elizabeth Simmonds and Georgia Davies continued to pile on the pressure for the hosts with a 1-2 finish in the 100m backstroke, Simmonds a class aprt on 1:00.10. Similar pattern followed in the men's 100m back, the race going to a dominant world 50m champion Liam Tancock, on 55.30, ahead of teammates Christopher Hebborn-Walker and Matt Clay.
Tancock said he had "really enjoyed it [duel]. It's a great atmosphere." He had been working hard in the gym because "there are some great guys out there in the world and I want to be up there and beating them". Swansea had been about working on improving his starts and turns.
The "pitbull" approach of Jazz Carlin, coached here in Swansea by Bud McAllister, was on show again in the 200m free the morning after a 4:06 400m free: in 1:59.40, Carlin took the race with a strong homecoming drive, having turned third at the 100m in 59.40, 0.3 behind teammate Jo Jackson. Jackson took second in 2:00.48, with Germany's Silke Lippok on 2:02.13.
he men's 200m saw world champion Paul Biedermann raced alongside Britain's Ross Davenport. Biedermann put in a tremendous effort on his last turn, the advantage he gained going into and coming out of the wall the decisive difference come the end wall: 1:4756 to 1:49.24, with Robbie Renwick third for Britain on 1:52.48.
In the 100m breaststroke, Caroline Ruhnau gave Germany top points with a 1:10.52 win over Britain's Lowri Tynan, on 1:11.04. Michael Jamieson and Darren Mew struck back with a 1-2 for Britain, on 1:02s in the men's sprint breaststroke. The 200m butterfly battles gave Britain two more wins, Jessica Dickons on 2:12.42 and Joe Roebuck on 2:00.60. That left the duel at 190 to 95 points in favour of the hosts.
The 200m medley saw Theresa Michalak (GER) keep Aimee Wilmott (GB) at bay 2:17.09 to 2:18.09 with Nina Schiffer giving Germany the point on 2:19.98. Germany claimed a clean sweep in the men's short medley, Yannick Lebherz at the helm on 2:03.52.
Halsall, having got the show off to a great start, was among those who brought it to a swift finish: her 54.54 lead gave Britain the big edge it needed to go and win the race in 3:43.60 to Germany's 3:45.07 and leave the duel score at 200 to 109.
Liam Tancock, like Halsall among the charges of coach Ben Titley at Loughborough Uni, got a cracking start as last man in for Britain in the 4x100m free, with Paul Biedermann chasing. Tancock got a fabulous turn too and thumped the 200m and 400m champ with a 48.63 split that brought Britain home to a 3:19.89 to 3:20.83 victory. That also delivered the duel to the hosts 207 to 109.
On day one, just one point split the GB and GER men, while among women there was no contest, with Britain way ahead. The last time Germany and Britain took each other on was 1973 - and Germany won, while Britain last won the duel in 1969, in the Centenary year of the Amateur Swimming Association.
Updates to come throughout the morning.
Germany V Great Britain, Swansea. Day 2 results:
(solo events points: 5, 3, 1 for 1st, 2nd and 3rd; teams: 7 to the winner - 0 to the losers)
After Day 1: GBR - 102; GER - 56
50m butterfly - women
50m butterfly - men
800m free - women
1,500m free - men
50m free - women
50m free - men
100m backstroke - women
100m backstroke - men
200m free - women
200m free - men
100m breaststroke - women
100m breaststroke - men
200m butterfly - women
200m butterfly - men
200m medley - women
200m medley - men
4x100m freestyle - women
4x100m freestyle - men