In a gripping display of athleticism, Angelina Köhler, representing Germany, emerged victorious from the 50-meter pool at the Aspire Dome on Monday evening, shedding tears of joy after her race. Köhler, 23, secured the title of World Champion in the 100-meter butterfly, surpassing competitors Claire Curzan from the USA and Louie Hansson of Sweden.
This achievement holds significant historical weight for German pool swimming, marking the first time since Britta Steffen’s success in 2009 that a German swimmer has claimed World Cup gold in this event. Köhler’s win also distinguishes her as Germany’s inaugural world champion in the 100-meter butterfly, a title last held by Kornelia Greßler for the GDR in 1986. This remarkable feat adds to the German Swimming Association’s accolades, following bronze medals earned by Isabel Gose and Lukas Märtens in previous days.
Throughout the tournament, Köhler exhibited exceptional form, setting a new German record in both the preliminary rounds and semi-finals, showcasing her readiness for the pinnacle of her career. With times of 56.11 seconds in the semi-finals and 56.28 seconds in the final, Köhler’s performance left spectators in awe. Overwhelmed by her victory, she expressed disbelief and profound gratitude, stating, “I can’t quite process what just happened…It means so much to me that even someone like me…can also be a world champion.”
Köhler’s path to victory was not without hurdles. Confronted with the dissolution of her training group in Hanover, she made a pivotal decision to join SG Neukölln in Germany, opting out of the US college system. Under the guidance of esteemed coach Lasse Frank, Köhler flourished in an environment characterized by meticulous analysis and attention to detail. Her dedication and resilience have solidified her as a prominent figure in Berlin’s swimming community, alongside fellow athlete Ole Braunschweig.