Anna Elendt “doesn’t really know her way around” the world of swimming. She said that herself after the almost historic success at the World Championships in Budapest. There she won silver over 100 meters breaststroke on Monday and thus for the first time since 1991 again a world championship medal for the German swimming association in this distance – and is now a star herself.
The German team finally has an athlete who is among the best in the world over short and medium distances. Only in spring did the 20-year-old Hessin set a new German record over 100 meters breaststroke. This time would have been enough to even win the title in Budapest. She was only five hundredths short of gold. “I’m not upset that I didn’t win,” said Elendt afterwards.
Elendt wasn’t really sad after the rather poor performance two days later in the 200-meter breaststroke, when she missed the final and “only” finished 23rd. “I’ve had five starts now. That was a bit much,” she said afterwards. She wanted to “sleep properly” until Friday, so she could attack again in the 50m breaststroke and maybe make it back to the final in the evening.
At the Olympics in Tokyo a year ago, Elendt was one of many rather inconspicuous German swimmers. More than 13th place in the 100 meters was not possible, now she has made a big leap forward. With a total of three German records this year and above all her fresh and bold appearance. Pink bathing suit, and the fingernails painted in the same color – all of this is striking.
And it could also have something to do with the fact that Anna Elendt has been studying sports management at the University of Texas in Austin since 2020 – and is working on her performance in a training group with 25 other athletes. The success seems to prove her right and that the American style and her Caribbean roots are good for the atmosphere in the German team at this World Cup, recently confirmed by sports director Christian Hansmann. “With her appearance, she is a popular figure. We’re glad we have them with us,” he said.
It’s a bit of a pity that the World Championships in Budapest are taking place with the German public practically excluded and that the other two silver medals by Lukas Märtens (400 meters freestyle) and Florian Wellbrock (800 meters freestyle) almost went under.
ZDF, which holds the broadcasting rights in Germany, is not showing live images from Hungary and is instead concentrating entirely on the finals in Berlin. “That’s a pity. We would think it would be good if our young swimmers in Germany could follow these championships,” said long-distance national coach Bernd Berkhahn.
After all, the public broadcasters will also report on the German Swimming Championships as part of the finals at the weekend. That’s why Berkhahn believes: “The importance of swimming has not been lost.”
Anna Elendt also sees it that way, whose good mood seems to be unshakable these days anyway. “Anyone who wanted to see it found live streams somewhere. And you can see us in one day at the finals on Sunday.” The fact that Elendt is important on national TV and thus in her home country is shown by the fact that she travels straight from the World Cup to Berlin to be there to compete in the 200m breaststroke.