A brilliant start for the German team at the World Swimming Championships. Lukas Märtens won bronze on the first day of the pool competitions. His preparation was anything but optimal.
Lukas Märtens won the bronze medal in the 400 meter freestyle at the World Swimming Championships in Qatar. The 22-year-old clocked 3:42.96 minutes in Doha and was only narrowly beaten by world champion Kim Woomin from South Korea and silver winner Elijah Winnington from Australia. With his strong race, Märtens secured the German Swimming Association (DSV) its first medal on the first day of the pool competitions.
“If someone had told me that beforehand, I would have signed it immediately. Given the close gap, maybe even more would have been possible,” said Märtens, considering that he was two tenths of a second behind gold and one tenth of a second short of silver. The swimmer was already looking ahead to the Olympics in Paris: “Then I want to be at the front of the whole race,” he emphasized.
Märtens’ success was not necessarily foreseeable. The man from Magdeburg has recently had to repeatedly struggle with health problems. “Starting an Olympic year with a forced break of almost three months is of course not what you want,” he said after the preliminary heat in the morning. “That’s why I’m even happier that things are going well now after the training I’ve been able to do.” In the evening he was even able to look forward to taking part in the award ceremony in the Aspire Dome.
At the last World Championships in Japan he also won bronze over his parade route. At that time it was the only medal for the DSV in the pool.
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