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Short Course M: Willbrook swims in the 400m and descends

Florian Willbrook is in good shape at the start of the next international showdown. However, the Olympic champion on Wednesday is focused – and making a decision.

For Florian Willbrook, the successful start to the European Short Course Championships was just a bit of a sports show.

The Olympic champion swam confidently in 3:41.09 minutes fourth in the final over his 400-meter freestyle branch – and shortly thereafter announced that he would not take part in the afternoon final. “In the lead up to the 400m freestyle I was able to call up my personal best performance of the season,” Willbrook said in Kazan. “But since I want to focus on the 1500m and know I won’t improve in the final above the 400m, I canceled the final.”

Like Willbrook himself, national coach Bernd Berkhan was satisfied with his players’ groundbreaking performance. “He was surprisingly fast,” the Magdeburg coach told ARD Radio.

Test run for the World Cup

The longest run in the pool takes place on Wednesday mornings. Willbrook then wants to go to the final and compete there with defending champion Gregorio Paltrinieri and Norway’s strongman Henrik Christiansen.

The 24-year-old Tokyo ten kilometer open water champion and bronze medalist over 1,500 meters in the pool sees the continental title race as a test of the World Cup on the 25-meter track in December. At the World Cups in Berlin and Budapest, Willbrook recently showed that he can also be strong in the short course with many turns. There he won over 1,500 metres.

He won the final over 800 metres

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On the first day of competition in Russia, freestyle swimmer Isabel Goose reached the 800m final, which takes place on Wednesday. In the second session of the afternoon, after Willbrook’s concession, backstroke swimmer Ole Braunschweig was the only German player in the 50m semi-final.

Some top swimmers voluntarily give up EM. Among them is Sarah Koehler, who won the bronze medal for the 1,500 meters at the Olympics.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211102-99-829527 / 5 (dpa)