Florian Wellbrock once again missed the medal places in open water swimming at the World Championships in Qatar. As the defending champion, the man from Magdeburg came ninth over five kilometers after coming 29th over twice the distance on Sunday.
With his time of 51:36.70 minutes, he finished 7.40 seconds behind winner Logan Fontaine from France. His compatriot Marc-Antoine Olivier won silver, while Italian Domenico Acerenza won bronze. Wellbrock also had to admit defeat to his teammate Oliver Klemet, who finished eighth.
Wellbrock set an enormous pace in the first lap and thus evened out the field of participants. Even after that, he always stayed in the lead and seemed to have everything under control. However, things slowed down a bit so that the large group was able to catch up and 15 swimmers tackled the last kilometer within eight seconds. When the mail went out, he had nothing left to add.
The Bremen native had previously won nine World Cup medals in open water. At the last World Championships in Japan, Wellbrock even won the Olympic ten and five kilometers. This time, however, the ten-kilometer race did not go as planned at all.
On Sunday, Wellbrock, completely surprisingly, only took 29th place. His condition was still good, he said after analyzing his sporting slump in cool water temperatures of around 20 degrees. "I have to say that it wasn't a formal error or a mistake in preparation, I just had to pay tribute to the weather conditions," explained the Olympic champion.
Leonie Beck also without a World Cup medal
He also missed a medal at the World Championships over five kilometers. The defending champion came in 14th place. The 26-year-old finished in 57:56.60 minutes, 22.70 seconds slower than Sharon van Rouwendaal. The Dutchwoman was crowned double world champion in Doha after already winning over 10 kilometers. Second place went to Chelsea Gubecka from Australia, third was the Brazilian Ana Marcela Cunha. Jeannette Spiwoks took 16th place.
After a somewhat slower start, Beck went into the last 1.7 kilometers in tenth place, nine seconds behind. But since the pace was massively increased at the front, she had no chance of catching up, like Spiwoks. "It was an extremely hard race. I almost lost touch in the second lap, but was able to fight my way back. As with the ten kilometers, I had no problems with the temperatures," reported Spiwoks.
Spiwoks had already swum over ten kilometers on Saturday to 16th place. The German Swimming Association initially assumed that this would be enough for an Olympic quota place. On Tuesday, the World Aquatics Association announced that this was not the case. Spiwoks now wants to fulfill his dream of swimming in the Seine in Paris through a long-distance qualification in the pool. “I still have a chance and I’m going to take it now,” she said combatively.
The Bavarian Beck, who lives and trains in Italy, has won five World Cup medals in her career so far. At the last World Championships in Japan, Beck even won gold twice. This time the ten-kilometer race didn't go as planned. After 20th place in a water temperature of around 20 degrees, Beck was very cold and said: "Cold water is not my thing."
At the Olympic Games in Paris, where the open water races take place in the Seine, the former pool swimmer is still one of the top favorites.