The last 25 meters belonged to Anna Elendt. Even a medal would have been a great success, but the 20-year-old from Frankfurt swam this Monday evening at the swimming world championships in Budapest with a strong final sprint and an even better touch on the podium. When she hit breaststroke after 100 meters, the surprise was perfect: silver!
In 1:05.98 minutes she only had to give way to Benedetta Pilato of Italy by just five hundredths of a second. It was the first World Championships individual medal by a German short sprinter on 50 and 100 meters distances since 2009, when Britta Steffen triumphed over 50 and 100 meters freestyle in Rome.
At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Elendt had missed the final over 100 meters breaststroke. This spring, however, the woman from Frankfurt, who studies and trains in Texas, then came up trumps: she improved the national records over 50, 100 and 200 meters breaststroke. With her best time over 100 meters of 1:05.58 minutes, she would have finished fourth in Tokyo – and now she would have even won gold.
Elendt’s final was the last of the second day of the World Cup. The Italian Thomas Ceccon had previously set the first world record of this World Cup. The 21-year-old won the 100-meter backstroke in 51.60 seconds. Ceccon thus undercut the almost six-year-old record of the American Ryan Murphy by 25 hundredths of a second. Murphy won silver ahead of fellow countryman Hunter Armstrong.
More to come.