Florian Wellbrock Named 2019 Men’s Open Water Swimmer of the Year

Courtesy of Swimming World Magazine, Yeosu EXPO Ocean Park, Gwangju, South Korea.

Florian Wellbrock now has a target on his back after two gold medal performances and being named the 2019 Men’s Open Water Swimmer of the Year by Swimming World Magazine.

Wellbrock has set himself up very well for a potential Mellouli Double at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Named after Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli for his dual gold medal performance in the 1500m freestyle and the 10 km marathon swim at the 2012 London Olympics, the Mellouli Double is a tough back-to-back distance freestyle challenge that demonstrates world-class mastery in speed, stamina, and strategy.

The young 21-year-old German first succeeded in winning both the 1500m freestyle in the pool and the 10 km marathon swim 12 days before at the 2019 FINA World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea.  The 12-day gap between races is much longer than the 5-day gap at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but that double is still 12 months way – and doable.

Both races in South Korea were tough for Wellbrock and mano-a-mano battles from beginning to end.

Pool and open water rival Gregorio Paltrinieri and Ukraine’s Mykhailo Romanchuk pushed Wellbrock throughout the 30-lap pool distance race in the pool, but it was Wellbrock who pulled out the 30-lap race like he did in the marathon swim.

Top 8 Men in 1500m Freestyle:
1. Florian Wellbrock (Germany) 14:36.54
2. Mykhailo Romanchuk (Ukraine) 14:37.63
3. Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy) 14:38.75
4. David Aubry (France) 14:44.72
5. Henrik Christiansen (Norway) 14:45.35
6. Domenico Acerenza (Italy) 14:52.05
7. Sergii Frylov (Ukraine) 15:01.04
8. Alexander Norgaard (Denmark) 15:20.47


Wellbrock also won the 10 km marathon swim, a victory that qualified him as the top seed for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games marathon swim – by the slimmest of margins.

Gregorio Paltrinieri of Italy also qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games – and a potential Mellouli Double himself – with a 6th place finish in the 10 km race, but he also won the 800m freestyle in a relatively comfortable margin.

France’s David Aubry – also a potential for the Mellouli Double – qualified in the 1500m freestyle after qualifying 10th for the 10 km marathon swim at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and finishing 3rd in the 800m freestyle.


Wellbrock beat Marc-Antoine Olivier of France by only 0.2 seconds after a furious two-man sprint to the finish [see video above].

They were followed closely by the chase pack led by Wellbrock’s German teammate Rob Muffels. All ten of the 2020 Olympic qualifiers finished within 10 seconds of Wellbrock.

Men’s 10 km Olympic Qualification Race Results:
1. Florian Wellbrock (Germany) 1:47:55.90
2. Marc-Antoine Olivier (France) 1:47:56.10
3. Rob Muffels (Germany) 1:47:57.40
4. Kristóf Rasovszky (Hungary) 1:47:59.50
5. Jordan Wilimovsky (USA) 1:48:01.00
6. Gregorio Paltrinieri (Italy) 1:48:01.00
7. Ferry Weertman (Netherlands) 1:48:01.90
8. Alberto Martinez (Spain) 1:48:02.20
9. Mario Sanzullo (Italy) 1:48:04.70
10. David Aubry (France) 1:48:05.10
11. Esteban Enderica Salgado (Ecuador) 1:48:07.30
12. Jack Burnell (Great Britain) 1:48:09.90
13. Athanasios Charalampos Kynigakis (Greece) 1:48:15.40
14. Kai Graeme Edwards (Australia) 1:48:16.20
15. Logan Vanhuys (Belgium) 1:48:17.50
16. Matej Kozubek (Czech Republic) 1:48:19.10
17. Han-Li Fan (Canada) 1:48:21.10
18. Tobias Patrick Robinson (Great Britain) 1:48:23.50
19. Kirill Abrosimov (Russia) 1:48:55.90
20. Matan Roditi (Israel) 1:48:59.60
21. Nicholas Sloman (Australia) 1:49:22.70
22. Evgenii Drattcev (Russia) 1:49:37.40
23. Chad Ho (South Africa) 1:49:37.90
24. Jon Thomas McKay (Canada) 1:49:43.70
25. David Heron (USA) 1:49:57.60
26. Krzysztof Pielowski (Poland) 1:50:02.80
27. Daniel Szekelyi (Hungary) 1:50:11.30
28. Guillem Pujol (Spain) 1:50:11.60
29. Jiabao An (China) 1:50:14.00
30. Danie Marais (South Africa) 1:50:14.20
31. David Castro (Ecuador) 1:50:14.40
32. Phillip Seidler (Nambia) 1:50:14.40
33. Allan do Carmo (Brazil) 1:50:14.70
34. Victor Johansson (Sweden) 1:50:14.80
35. Victor Colonese (Brazil) 1:50:15.20
36. Diego Vera (Venezuela) 1:50:15.60
37. Elliot Sodemann (Sweden) 1:50:16.00
38. Ous Mellouli (Tunisia) 1:50:21.00
39. Takeshi Toyoda (Japan) 1:50:22.00
40. Santiago Arteta (Argentina) 1:50:24.10
41. Vit Ingeduld (Czech Republic) 1:50:24.90
42. Rafael Gil (Portugal) 1:50:27.30
43. Yuval Safray (Israel) 1:50:34.20
44. David Brandl (Austria) 1:51:26.30
45. Taiki Nonaka (Japan) 1:51:35.30
46. Joaquin Moreno (Argentina) 1:51:45.70
47. Aflah Fadlan Prawira (Indonesia) 1:52:33.80
48. Tamas Farkas (Serbia) 1:52:36.70
49. Tiago Campost (Portugal) 1:52:39.30
50. Arturo Perez Vertti Ferrer (Mexico) 1:52:42.60
51. Evgenij Pop Acev (Macedonia) 1:52:43.00
52. Igor Chervynskiy (Ukraine) 1:52:45.20
53. Seokhyun Park (Korea) 1:52:47.60
54. Junbohang Zhao (China) 1:52:52.70
55. Wilder Carreno (Venezuela) 1:52:53.50
56. Marwan Elamrawy (Egypt) 1:54:40.80
57. Fernando Betanzos (Mexico) 1:56:07.90
58. Mathieu Mathy Ben Rahou (Morocco) 1:56:07.90
59. Jaehun Park (Korea) 1:56:41.40
60. Lev Cherepanov (Kazakhstan) 1:58:04.40
61. William Yan Thorley (Hong Kong) 1:59:36.80
62. Rodrigo Caballero (Bolivia) 1:59:41.50 64
63. Chin Ting Keith Sin (Hong Kong) 2:00:21.90
64. Tomas Peciart (Slovakia) 2:00:24.20
65. Maximiliano Paccot (Uruguay) 2:00:24.50
66. Damien Payet (Seychelles) 2:00:27.60
67. Tanakrit Kittiyat (Thailand) 2:00:37.10
68. Sushrut Suryakant Kapse (India) 2:03:25.90
69. Santiago Reyes (Guatemala) 2:08:27.50
70. Zedheir Torrez (Bolivia) 2:08:27.70
71. Siwat Matangkapong (Thailand) 2:09:32.80
72. Rinel Pius (Estonia) 2:09:56.00
73. Cristofer Lanuza (Costa Rica) 2:10:16.80
74. Alain Vidot (Seychelles) OLT

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