Four nations have been disqualified in a chaotic open water race at the Swimming World Championships in Hungary. The teams from Greece, South Korea, South Africa and Spain, which were swimming in front at the time, were taken out of the relay over 4×1.5 kilometers shortly after the first change on Sunday. They must have chosen the wrong path in Lake Lupa.
The German team benefited from the disqualification. Starting swimmer Lea Boy handed over to Oliver Klemet in sixth place. After the competitors had been taken out of the race, Klemet swam at the front and handed over to Leonie Beck as the leader. Olympic champion Florian Wellbrock was used as the final swimmer.
It was Wellbrock’s third World Championship medal and his second in 18 hours. He had previously won silver in the 800-meter freestyle and bronze in the 1500-meter freestyle at the pool competitions that ended on Saturday.
“We’re very, very happy with it,” Wellbrock said. “We knew we were in a very good position. But nonetheless: You couldn’t count on a medal, a gold one, in advance. Hungary, France and Italy are too strong for that. We did a great job and are enjoying the award ceremony right away.”
The 22-year-old boy handed over to Klemet in sixth place, about two minutes behind the leader. Klemet swam strong and then benefited from mistakes made by the competition.
Klemet took the lead. Beck had a difficult time and had to defend himself against three strong swimmers from Hungary, Italy and France. When Wellbrock took over as final swimmer, he was fourth, but had contact with the top trio and finally swam to the world title.
At the past World Championships in South Korea, the German team with Boy, Sarah Köhler (now Wellbrock), Sören Meißner and Rob Muffels also won gold.