On Monday, the World Cup hosts in Qatar were concerned about the water level in the Aspire Dome’s 50-meter pool. The reason behind this was the emotional reaction of swimmer Angelina Köhler after her race. Köhler was visibly overwhelmed with her achievement, as she had just become the new world champion in the 100-meter butterfly category, outperforming Claire Curzan from the USA and Louie Hansson from Sweden.
This achievement marked a historic moment for German swimming since it was the first time a German pool swimmer had won World Cup gold since 2009. Britta Steffen was the last swimmer to bring home the gold for Germany in Rome. Furthermore, Köhler is the first German world champion in the 100-meter butterfly category since Kornelia Greßler won gold for the GDR in 1986. This concluded a successful second day for the German Swimming Association at the pool competitions, with Isabel Gose and Lukas Märtens also winning bronze medals.
Prior to this, Köhler had already shown signs of her impending success during the preliminary round and semi-finals. She had set a new German record and outperformed all her competitors. At the previous World Championships in Fukuoka, she had not been able to secure a medal, but she had expressed her hopes to break the 57-second mark, which she then accomplished in Doha.
Köhler, a fan of Taylor Swift, was astonished with her accomplishment. She was quoted saying, “I can’t quite process what just happened. The victory just meant an incredible amount to me because I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a child. It means so much to me that even someone like me, who is sometimes a bit clumsy and forgets things, can also be a world champion.”
Köhler’s journey to becoming a world champion was not an easy one. She had trained in Hanover for a long time, but had to reconsider her options when her training group there more or less disbanded. She was faced with a choice: to shift to the US college system or stay in Germany. Though many swimmers opt for the former to take advantage of professional training conditions, Köhler chose to stay in Germany and moved to SG Neukölln.
At SG Neukölln, respected trainer Lasse Frank has carefully established a second large short- and medium-distance base next to the long-distance base of national coach Bernd Berkhahn in Magdeburg. In this environment, even the smallest details are taken into account, such as the angle of the athlete’s hand underwater for optimal propulsion. In Berlin, Angelina Köhler has become a prominent figure representing this base, alongside Ole Braunschweig.