“I’m just happy at the moment. A super time, fourth place at the World Championships, that fits quite well,” said Reitshammer and did not regret missing the sensational medal by just 22 hundredths of a second. “I never expected anything like that, but I’m all the happier that way.” Although he smashed his best time again, Reitshammer still saw room for improvement. Not everything was optimal, he emphasized. “That’s a bit something for the 50s. We’ll see at the next World Cup if I can improve like that again. Maybe then it will even be a medal.”
In Budapest Reitshammer reduced his record by almost four tenths, in the “second biggest competition after the Olympics” the “oldie” in the OSV team showed his best performance so far. At the short course world championships last December in Abu Dhabi, he finished seventh. Shortly before, he had celebrated the greatest success of his career with bronze in the 100 m individual medley at the short course European Championships in Kazan.
Reitshammer swims just past the medal
Bernhard Reitshammer surprised with a fourth place over 50m breaststroke at the World Championships in Budapest. With a new Austrian record, he swam just short of a medal.
“Powerful” mood in Duna Arena
Reitshammer also raved about the “terrific” atmosphere in the almost sold-out Duna Arena. Because in the previous run, the Hungarian Kristof Milak had the fans cheering with a world record over 200 m dolphin. “We went under the grandstand, that was brutal,” said Reitshammer. Milak clocked a time of 1:50.34, more than three seconds ahead of his rivals and improved his own best by 0.39 seconds.
For the Austrian Swimming Association (OSV) it was the third final participation in pool swimming at the title fights in Hungary, crawl specialist Felix Auböck had also convinced over 200 m (fifth) and 400 m (fourth) with new best times. Reitshammer is still in action with his teammates in the relay over 4 x 100 m individual medley in Budapest on Saturday.
Pilhatsch and Gigler miss semi-finals
Caroline Pilhatsch and Heiko Gigler each missed the semi-finals in their heats in the morning. While Pilhatsch was 19th in the 50m backstroke with a time of 28.54 seconds, just seven hundredths of a second off the top 16 semifinals, Gigler had to settle for a disappointing 29th place in the 100m crawl. The 26-year-old from Carinthia swam 49.29 seconds, almost half a second above his OSV record.
However, he would have had to improve this by more than three tenths to move into the semi-finals. “It just didn’t slide, from the start. The goal was the semifinals, I knew that I would have had to swim faster than the Austrian record,” said the disappointed Gigler. “I actually feel good in the water, so I was surprised that only a 49 time came out.”
The 23-year-old Pilhatsch, who won silver at the 2018 Short Course World Championships in Hangzhou, had meanwhile traveled to Hungary without any great ambitions. Due to her police training, which she recently completed, and the resulting limited preparation, the sprinter was not at her peak.