Anna Elendt was particularly looking forward to the third final evening at the swimming world championships even before she left for Budapest. After all, the chatty breaststroke specialist knew her parents would be in the stands when the 100m was decided. She found the idea that her parents could finally see her swimming live again after two years of corona restrictions »very cool«. The icing on the cake of this visit was that they were served Elendt’s silver run over the two long lanes in the Duna Arena.
Late on Monday evening, Elendt, with the newly acquired World Cup medal in her swimming bag, met her parents for dinner at the hotel – with »Mum« and »Dad«, as the 20-year-old likes to say, since she went to school in 2020 moved to the United States. There Elendt trains in the group of around 25 swimmers led by Carol Capitani – an internationally recognized trainer who is also valued by Bernd Berkhahn as a “very, very good” specialist. “She’s developing Anna further,” praises the German national coach. “And of course we follow that with enthusiasm.”
Those responsible at the German Swimming Association (DSV) are also impressed by the positive charisma that the American-by-choice brings to the national team. Because Elendt’s relaxed, carefree, open and sometimes flippant manner is good for his teammates. “She is popular,” says sports director Christian Hansmann, who also sees the Hessian as a ray of hope alongside Berkhahn’s successful Magdeburg training group: “With her, we now have a new front woman on the short and medium distances, who joins the phalanx of previous medal winners break in.”
The last time DSV won World Championship medals on the short distances was 13 years ago in Rome. Now Elendt broke through this dry spell – and on Tuesday morning he swam with the German mixed relay in the next final. In the morning pool cooperation with Ole Braunschweig, Angelina Köhler and Jan Eric Friese, Elendt was happy about eighth place in the prelims and the final participation of the mixed German foursome in the evening (according to ed.). She will then tackle solo starts over 50 and 200 meters breaststroke at the title fights in Hungary.
Elendt had declared the 100 meter race to be her main route for this post-Olympic season and especially for her appearances in Budapest. At the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, the 50 meters, on which she finished seventh in the final, ran well, Elendt recalled – and emphasized: “The 100 meters weren’t quite as good back then. That’s why I just wanted to see what I could really achieve with an international start.«
The victory of the Italian Benedetta Pilato, who was only five hundredths of a second faster, was enough for the second silver plaque for the DSV team at the highlight of the season. And with her time of 1:05.98 minutes, Elendt didn’t even exhaust her potential: At the meeting of the Pro Swim Series in San Antonio at the beginning of April, she was 0.4 seconds faster over the two lanes breaststroke than she is now Budapest – in one of three German records that she set this spring.
After moving from Germany to Austin, Texas two years ago, it took Elendt a bit to get used to training there – not least because of several injuries. “Since this year I’ve been doing strength training on a regular basis, and that’s clearly reflected in the water,” emphasizes the swimmer, who was born in Dreieich near Frankfurt am Main. In addition to her existence as a quasi-professional railway teacher, Elendt is studying at the University of Texas and has just completed the obligatory basic workload with subjects such as American history, mathematics and biology. Now she wants to concentrate on her major in sports management.
In Austin, Elendt enjoys the extremely short distances to her lectures and to the swimming pool. She praises the comfortable conditions in her sports life, above all the comprehensive and very uncomplicated medical care. In addition, she and her roommate have just moved into an apartment very close to the campus. “I now have my own room,” reports Anna Elendt – which is quite nice after two years.” Almost as nice as winning a World Cup medal in front of “Mum” and “Dad”.