Swimming World Championship
Austria’s relay over 4 x 100 m individual medley swam to seventh place at the World Championships in Budapest on Saturday and thus made a statement of their performance in their first participation in the final. Bernhard Reitshammer, Valentin Bayer, Simon Bucher and Heiko Gigler were even briefly in fourth place at the last turn in freestyle.
But Gigler was caught by the competition and in the end the OSV quartet took seventh place with a new Austrian record of 3:32.80 minutes, just behind Germany but clearly ahead of China. Gold went to Italy in a European record of 3:27.51 minutes ahead of the USA (3:27.79) and Great Britain (3:31.31).
For Reitshammer and Co. it was a first and big step for Paris 2024. For an Olympic quota place, the relay team has to finish in the top twelve at the World Championships in Fukuoka (Japan) next summer. “That was another great improvement and a great announcement from us. Mainly because all the good nations were there. You can build on that. The Olympic dream could really come true for the relay,” said a broadcast from the association.
Reitshammer was already enthusiastic about the finals with the then valid record of 3:34.06 minutes in the morning: “That was a great statement towards the Olympics and really good. The fact that we are allowed to swim again in the World Championship final is super awesome anyway, really amazing.” In the evening, the OSV swimmers confirmed their potential. It was the ninth final with red-white-red participation in Budapest. Sunday is a break for Austria’s swimmers. The diving and open water swimming competitions begin on Monday.