Simon Bucher, the swimmer with the potential to become a goldfish

Simon Bucher, the swimmer with the potential to become a goldfish
For Simon Bucher, the year is all about the rings.
Image: GEPA pictures/Patrick Steiner

Simon Bucher is not the type of full-bodied announcements. He prefers to let times speak for themselves. At the World Swimming Championships in Doha, the 23-year-old is aiming for at least a place in the finals in the 50 meter dolphin on Sunday and the 100 meter dolphin on Friday. “I just want to swim a personal best time. I assume that then I should be able to make it to the final,” said the ASV Linz athlete, who recently hasn’t been able to show his full potential at major events.

A sixth place at the 2022 World Cup in Budapest had awakened Bucher’s medal ambitions, which were disappointed last year in Fukuoka with 26th place. The U23 European Championship gold in late summer proved that he hasn’t forgotten it. While his training partner Bernhard Reitshammer was crowned European short course champion in Otopeni (Rou) in December, the ill Bucher was only a spectator. Again he didn’t have the opportunity to show his full potential at a major event.

So far three Paris starters have been confirmed

Now Doha – a World Cup that is only taking place in the Olympic year because contracts with World Cup organizers could not be honored during the Corona period. Not every coach is comfortable preparing for two highlights in one year. “I wouldn’t go there just to take part,” warned Austria’s sports director Walter Bär. Either it has to fit into a larger competition plan or the World Cup has been set as a big goal.

While his club colleagues Lena Kreundl (200 meter medley) and Reitshammer (100 meter backstroke) are chasing the Olympic limit in Doha, Bucher has long had it in his pocket. This only applies to Martin Espernberger and Felix Auböck from Linz. If the red-white-red relay teams qualify for the World Cup, the number of tickets would be increased to seven. Bucher plays a key role as a fixed starter in the 4×100 meter medley. Valentin Bayer, Heiko Gigler and Reitshammer will swim with him. For the women, the 4×200 crawl relay with Iris Julia Berger, Marlene Kahler, Lena Opatril and Kreundl has a chance of taking part in Paris.

Kreundl is at least 1.34 seconds short of her best individual distance, although she set her best before the 2016 Rio Games. But she recently proved that the policewoman is still capable of a lot by winning bronze at the European Short Course Championships. “My goal is to get close to the Olympic limit,” the 26-year-old knows about the difficulty of the task. The same applies to Reitshammer, who traveled to Doha with a lot of self-confidence – even if the European championship title was over the short course.

Alexandri remains sixth in the World Cup

The world association rejected the protest of figure swimmer Vasiliki Alexandri yesterday. The Austrian, who was in the lead after the preliminary competition, felt that she was judged unfairly in the final of the free solo freestyle. So her sixth final place remains.

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