Angelina Köhler is the world swimming champion in the 100 meter butterfly. The 23-year-old relegated Claire Curzan from the USA to second place. Sweden’s Louie Hansson took bronze. Köhler clocked in 56.28 seconds in Qatar on Monday.
“I can’t quite process what just happened yet. “I’m shaking all over,” said Köhler: “The victory just meant an incredible amount to me because I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a child.”
For the first time since 2009, when Britta Steffen won twice in Rome, a German pool swimmer won World Championship gold. With her fantastic race, Köhler secured her third medal for the German Swimming Association on the second day of the competition in the Aspire Dome. On Sunday there was bronze for Isabel Gose and Lukas Märtens.
For Köhler, the title is by far the greatest success of his career to date. The day before her big triumph, the Berliner had already hinted at her exceptional form. In both the preliminary and semi-finals she improved the German record and was faster than all her competitors. “I love this pool here, I’m perfectly prepared,” she said afterwards. “I’m no longer the weakest, I can keep up and swim ahead of the others in the second lane.”
“I always listen to Taylor Swift”
She has a special ritual before the races. “I always listen to Taylor Swift. “It means a lot to me,” she said of the pop star, who celebrated with his friend, football player Travis Kelce, his Super Bowl victory with the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night. “I always listen to the music and dance to it before my races because it gives me incredible strength.”
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At the last World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, Köhler took fifth place. The four swimmers who were ahead of her at the time were not there this time. The highlight of the season is the Olympics.
In order to better prepare, some stars – not just on Köhler’s route – are foregoing participation in the World Cup, which is taking place for the first time in the same year as the Summer Games. It is therefore difficult to estimate what Köhler’s success means with regard to the Rings spectacle in Paris. One thing is certain: the butterfly expert now has her ticket to the Olympics.