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Japanese Star at Mission Viejo, Santa Clara -- June 22, 2000

FOREIGN swimmers dominated the first day of competition at the Mission Viejo 2000 Swim Meet of Champions and the Santa Clara stop on the Cadillac Challenge Series.

In Mission Viejo, Japanese Olympic medal hopeful, Sachiko Yamada, cruised to an easy win in the women's 800 meter freestyle, clocking 8:32.93. Her teammate, Masato Hirano had a tougher time of it in the men's 800, but he, too, emerged the winner, clocking 8:01.88. Ocean State Squids' Erik Vendt was a close second at 8:02.07. Hirano led at every turn except the 600 meter mark, where Vendt forged a short-lived lead of one-hundredth of a second.

At Santa Clara, Jamaica's and Bolles' Janelle Atkinson took the women's 1500 meters by 27 seconds, clocking 16:22.12. Japan's Shunichie Fujita took the men's 800 free in 8:12.03, just out-touching Brendan Nelligan at 8:12.09.