A successful World Cup relay – Bayer swam to the Olympics

Compromise Astro for the title fight in Doha! Austria finished sixth in the men's 4 x 100m medley final at the Long Course World Championships on Sunday. A step up compared to the previous round was achieved by disqualifying Poland on the one hand and keeping Ireland at bay on the other.

In 3:34.62, Bernhard Reitshammer, Valentin Beyer, Simon Bucher and Heiko Giegler went 0.66 seconds faster than the Irish. “A good result, we can be satisfied – even if the time was a bit faster it wouldn't bother me,” says the 24-year-old, who competes for the Modling Swimming Union. The United States beat the Netherlands and Italy to win the championship in Doha.

Ten swimming tickets to Paris

In the preliminaries, the red-white-red quartet clocked a slightly faster time of 3:24.29 seconds to secure a berth for the Olympic Games in Paris. With 14th place overall from two world championships in Fukuoka 2023 and Doha, the OSV team enters an Olympic field of 16 relay teams.

Received ten tickets for Red-White-Red games, subject to confirmation of tower quota place for diver Anton Knoll. Bucher, Felix Auböck and Martin Espernberger from Bad Vöslau and Jan Hercog in open water had previously set the record in swimming.

Clearly the record was missed

The Americans won the final in 3:29.80 ahead of the Netherlands (3:31.23) and Italy (3:31.59). Reitshammer over the back, Bayer over the breast and Delphine vice-world champion Bucher each finished eighth, while Crawler Giggler gained one place. Poland's disqualification brought another step forward. The Austrians would have placed fourth at the 2022 World Championships in Budapest, with an Austrian record of 3:32.80 for third place. Canada and Spain were also fast.

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“The World Cup ended better for me than it started. It was a good improvement,” Reitshammer commented on his performance. Like Bayer and Giggler, he has hopes of an Olympic individual limit. Bucher had his 100m dolphin final in his bones from the day before. “I noticed I was running out of energy a little bit at the end, but it was still the final race with the boys,” Tyrolean said. Bayer spoke of “a great feeling” and Gigler was happy “that we could engage.”

It is more successful than it has been in two decades

With silver for Bucher and bronze for Martin Esbernberger (200m dolphin), despite missing out on a first gold in swimming events, the World Championships for Austria were the most successful in a long time since Fukuoka 2001. Synchronized swimmers Anna-Maria and Erini-Marina Alexandri, who won gold in the free program in Fukuoka last summer, had to overcome this time. But they also have an Olympic quota place. Pool swimmers reached four finals – in addition to Bucher, Espernberger and the relay team, Felix Abach placed eighth in the 400m freestyle.

The OSV sporting director is satisfied. “We came in with five qualified athletes and we're going back with ten qualified athletes and have lived up to our expectations,” says Walter Barr. “Of course we still have some room for improvement, but there is still time for some more to come. As perverse as it sounds, the two medals from Martin and Simon are a great bonus and certainly a big motivation for the goals that are still ahead of us this season. A motivation for the next generation to join here.”

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Booze against the winner

After a total of 75 results, Austria finished 26th in the medal table, with the Chinese dominating diving with 23 golds, followed by the United States (9) and Australia (7).

In the long haul, the Americans (8) were ahead of China (7) and Australia (3). Here OSV finished 19th.An ironic note on the final day of the titles was political motivation for Anastasia Gorbenko during interviews with the top three and during the awards ceremony after the Israeli won silver in the 400m individual medley.

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