European Short Course Championships: Amaury Leveaux, Alessia Filippi Smash World Records, The Netherlands Claims Relay World Best -- December 12, 2008

RIJEKA, Croatia, December 12. THE second night of finals at the European Short Course Championships held in Rijeka, Croatia featured a pair of world records along with a relay world best.

Italy's Alessia Filippi demolished the women's 800 free world record, while France's Amaury Leveaux claimed another world record, this time in the 100 free, after snagging the 50 free yesterday.

The Netherlands also recorded a world best in the women's 200 free relay, but the event is not recognized by FINA and is therefore not considered a world record.

Women's 800 free final
For the second night in a row, a world record called the European Short Course Championships to order. Italy's Alessia Filippi destroyed Kate Ziegler's global standard of 8:08.00 set last year with a stunning time of 8:04.53. France's Coralie Balmy also cleared the former mark by a wide margin with a second-place 8:05.32. Lotte Friis of Denmark rounded out the top three in 8:09.91.

Notably, Filippi's readout also crushed the European standard of 8:08.25 set by Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington at the 2008 World Short Course Championships in Manchester.

Here are the comparative splits of the world-record performances:
Ziegler: 28.72, 59.22 (30.50), 1:29.78 (30.56), 2:00.48 (30.70), 2:31.15 (30.67), 3:01.96 (30.81), 3:32.75 (30.79), 4:03.73 (30.98), 4:34.65 (30.92), 5:05.46 (30.81), 5:36.35 (30.89), 6:07.13 (30.78), 6:37.84 (30.71), 7:08.48 (30.64), 7:39.30 (30.82), 8:08.00 (28.70).

Filippi: 29.19, 59.82 (30.63), 1:30.61 (30.79), 2:01.30 (30.69), 2:31.95 (30.65), 3:02.55 (30.60), 3:33.08 (30.53), 4:03.36 (30.28), 4:33.80 (30.44), 5:04.40 (30.60), 5:34.77 (30.37), 6:05.02 (30.25), 6:35.19 (30.17), 7:05.51 (30.32), 7:35.53 (30.02), 8:04.53 (29.00)

Men's 50 back semis
Slovakia's Lubos Krizko topped the sprint back semis with a time of 23.15, while Spain's Aschwin Wildeboer Faber (23.22) and Russia's Stanislav Donets (23.46) finished second and third. Krizko's time cleared the European record of Thomas Rupprath (23.27) set in 2004.

Italy's Mirco Di Tora (23.76), Germany's Helge Meeuw (23.78), Rupprath (23.88), Switzerland's Flori Lang (24.02) and Great Britain's Marco Loughran (24.04) complete the top eight.

Women's 50 fly semis
The Netherlands' Hinkelien Schreuder earned the top seed in finals with a time of 25.67, while Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen finished second in 25.78. Estonia's Triin Aljand placed third in 25.79.

Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom (26.00), France's Diane Bui Duyet (26.09), France's Aurore Mongel (26.09), Israel's Amit Ivri (26.13) and Austria's Fabienne Nadarajah (26.15) grabbed the rest of the finale spots.

Men's 400 IM final
Austria's Dinko Jukic emerged from the distance medley with the continental title in 4:03.01. Hungary's Gergo Kis finished just behind in 4:03.81, while Poland's Lukasz Wojt to complete the podium with a 4:05.13 for third place. He touched out fourth-place finisher Hungary's David Verraszto (4:05.33).

Women's 200 breast final
Russia's Alena Alekseeva registered a time of 2:19.93 to win the event, while Austria's Mirna Jukic clinched second in 2:20.48. Switzerland's Patrizia Humplik captured third-place honors with a time of 2:12.68 as she touched out Russia's Olga Detenyuk (2:21.73).

Men's 100 breast final
Ukraine's Igor Borysik shot down the European record with a time of 57.33. That performance eclipsed compatriot Oleg Lisogor's continental standard of 57.67 set back in 2006. France's Hugues Duboscq placed second in 57.64, while Great Britain's James Gibson joined them under 58 with a third-place 57.91.

Women's 100 free final
The Netherlands' Marleen Veldhuis took a run at her European record of 51.91 set during prelims, but came up just short with a title-winning effort of 51.95. Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen captured second in 52.08, while The Netherlands' Ranomi Kromowidjojo snagged third with a time of 52.22.

Men's 100 free semis
Amaury Leveaux blistered the field with a time of 45.12 to take the top spot. The swim smashed countryman Alain Bernard's global standard of 45.69 set at the French Short Course National Championships in Angers five days ago.

Leveaux went out in 21.84 and came home in 23.28 compared to Bernard's swim of 21.71 out, 23.98 in.

France's Fabien Gilot (46.07), Italy's Filippo Magnini (46.37), Russia's Evgeny Lagunov (46.84), Russia's Andrey Grechin (46.93), Italy's Alessandro Calvi (47.02), Denmark's Jakob Andkjaer (47.70) and Germany's Steffen Deibler (47.74) will also swim in finals.

Women's 100 back final
Croatia's Sanja Jovanovic took a run at Natalie Coughlin's world record of 56.51, but settled for a victory in 56.87. Jovanovic, however, still eclipsed the European record of 57.15 set by Ukraine's Kate Zubkova at the 2008 World Short Course Championships.

Zubkova, who has been fighting off an illness this week, wound up with a swift second-place finish of 57.01 clearing her former lifetime best. France's Laure Manaudou rounded out the top three in 57.16.

Men's 100 fly final
Serbia's Milorad Cavic came up just short of Ian Crocker's world record of 49.07 in the event with a winning European-record time of 49.19. Cavic did, however, smash the continental standard of 49.74 set by Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin during the Berlin stop of the 2008 World Cup. Spain's Rafael Munoz Perez finished a distant second in 49.74, while Russia's Nikolay Skvortsov placed third in 49.98.

Women's 100 IM semis
Three women cleared the minute barrier in the sprint medley semifinal round. Finland's Hanna-Maria Seppala earned the top seed in 59.62, while Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto (59.93) and Italy's Francesca Segat (59.94) placed second and third.

France's Sophie De Ronchi (1:00.13), Poland's Aleksandra Urbanzcyk (1:00.42), Sweden's Hanna Eriksson (1:00.45), The Netherlands' Femke Heemskerk (1:00.48) and Italy's Laura Letrari (1:00.76) snagged the rest of the transfer spots into finals.

Women's 50 fly final
The Netherlands' Hinkelien Schreuder picked up the European record in the sprint fly with a time of 25.21. Sweden's Therese Alshammar set the previous continental standard with a 25.31 during the Stockholm stop of the 2008 World Cup. Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen placed second in 25.54 by touching out France's Diane Bui Duyet (25.55).

Men's 50 back final
Russia's Stanislav Donets emerged from the sprint back with the crown in 23.22 by touching out Spain's Aschwin Wildeboer Faber, who took second in 23.28. Slovakia's Lubos Krizko wound up third in 23.47 after setting the European record with a 23.15 during semis.

Women's 200 free relay final
The Netherlands' foursome of Hinkelien Schreuder (23.80), Inge Dekker (23.89), Ranomi Kromowidjojo (23.29) and Marleen Veldhuis (22.82) completed the sprint free relay with a world-best time of 1:33.80. That effort cleared the country's previous best time of 1:34.82 set in 2007.

Sweden's Petra Granlund, Claire Hedenskog, Sarah Sjostrom and Lovisa Ericsson took a distant second in 1:38.00, while Germany's Dorothea Brandt, Petra Dallmann, Lisa Vitting and Daniela Schreiber placed third in 1:38.06.

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December 12, 2008 We are two world records away from the magic 100-barrier. I really think it's gonna happen. Cavic in the 50 Fly, for one. He split 22.58 in the 100 Fly, tying the fourth fastest time ever, and only 0.29 off the WR! As for the other, maybe Biedermann (200 Free), Veldhuis (50 Free).
Submitted by: SwimDER94
December 12, 2008 I'm thinking Balmy in the 200 and/or 400, or maybe Jovanovic will break her own 50. Plus yes, the 50 Fly will be blown away. Leveaux will be in there for that one too. Skvortsov's looking hot for the 200Fly too...
Submitted by: bt22
December 12, 2008 So what's so exciting about so many records being broken in neoprene full body suits? 100 records in one year makes a mockery of the sport. I'm surprised more people don't find this disturbing and speak out about it. These suit wars are NOT good for swimming, only the suit manufacturers making big bucks off athletes and coaches desperate to get best times at any cost. Just compare 2007 individual results of top 20 swimmers in the world (wearing pre-buoyancy bodysuits)to those after Feb. 2008 to the present. These statistics appear on another web site which can't be named for competitive reasons but the information is presented for all to see. Do we care only about fast times and turn a blind eye to how they are achieved? Performance enhancement is just that, whether it's suit techology or steroids.
Submitted by: happycamper
December 12, 2008 happycamper,

What's the other site you wanted to name? Feel free.
Submitted by: Jason Marsteller
December 12, 2008 I agree that Svortsov might very well finally get that 200 Fly record. If Cseh's swimming it, then someone definitely will. As for Balmy in the 400, she's been all over that 400 world record - two swims within three tenths, so I think it's going down.
Submitted by: SwimDER94
December 12, 2008 Craig Lord is on a mission to make sure people are kept informed about issues relating to suit technology. While it's clear in his editorials how he feels about the impact that suits like the LZR and B70 have had on the sport, he does provide a lot of important information, if people want to feel informed about where competitive swimming is headed in 2009 and beyond if the swimming community is not well-informed.
Submitted by: happycamper
December 12, 2008 We love Craig here. He used to contribute to Swimming World a lot back in the day before he switched to

We even made a point of congratulating them on our site when they announced a recent milestone regarding their publication.

We don't even see as a competitor of ours, and wouldn't strike out mention of them even if we did. They are more like a partner with us in keeping the swimming community informed.

The only thing we don't want to happen in Reaction Time is someone from a site trying to get free advertising by always posting links from their site wherever possible. That's not in the spirit of providing an area for open discussion for our readership.
Submitted by: Jason Marsteller
December 12, 2008 what I find alarming is we swimmer's breaking world records that you can say very well came out of nowhere.Also look at how much the records are being broken by,that can not be normal.look at the men's 200 fly LC before this year you only one person under 1.54 now you have 3 people under 1.53.With the suit or not all the world records broken can not be normal.
Submitted by: stc27
December 12, 2008 That's good to hear. I just want to be sure swim fans know where to get comprehensive information on any site. I've seen very little, if any, editorial comment from anyone at swimming world or swim network, or even any fans, that addresses the topic of the "suit war" that is taking place, so wondered if people are very aware of the level of enhancement these suits can provide, especially if no guidelines are put in place, SOON!
Submitted by: happycamper
December 12, 2008 Jason, you and Craig are always gracious and well-spoken, and I enjoy both of your sites more than other, "flashier" sites about swimming, because of that fact.
Submitted by: peeterdeeter
December 12, 2008 Thanks, peeterdeeter. I appreciate it.

I'm approaching 2.5 years here at Swimming World right now, and I was talking about that today at the office. When I was hired as managing editor, my first and only goal has been to be a good steward of Swimming World as it has been here longer than I have been alive and likely will be past my existence.

This responsibility has come to the forefront even more for me as we enter our 50th year as a standard-format magazine next month.

It's been a fun ride.

Once again, thanks for the appreciation.
Submitted by: Jason Marsteller
December 12, 2008 I am as conscious as anyone else of the problems with the technology being introduced into the sport, but it does not mean that we should completely discredit excellent performances in the pool. Is it more difficult to determine the quality of a swim when it is aided by the suits? Yes, of course. Should that in any way discredit something as incredible as what Leveaux did today? Did anyone ever think we'd see a 44 second 100 Free SC a couple years ago? No. Give the man some credit. Let's not take away from him what he deserves. Watch the videos, his underwater work is fantastic and he his stroke is incredibly smooth.
This is just one example of someone who I believe could be overshadowed by the suits. And don't get me wrong, I've been a dedicated swimnews follower for years, and I commend the information put forth by Mr Lord, but the swimmers are losing out when their performances are taking second stage to the suits.
Submitted by: bt22
December 12, 2008 Do you even question what Leveaux was wearing? It was an unbranded suit that not only may have provided the compression to improve hydrodynamics and reduce drag UNDER the water but also could have significantly aided buoyancy after he surfaced--ENHANCING good swimming. Note the word enhancement. No one knows just to what extent he was aided since the suit has not been tested. It is unavoidable to not look at the suit first and the athlete second until there are guidelines. It's too bad we can't have the athletes don regular jammers and tanks for one day of the meet and repeat the same events the next day in the body suits. I think we'd see a stark contrast from one day to the would be interesting to see who would float to the top and who would sink, literally!
Submitted by: happycamper
December 12, 2008 Leveaux is a TYR guy. He has worn TYR for all of his swims at least this year.
Submitted by: SwimDER94
December 12, 2008 "Its too bad that..."
You're right, its too bad. Its too bad that the current rulebook allows for an unfair playing field. But I don't believe that should tarnish Leveaux's, or anyone else's, reputation as a world class athlete.
Submitted by: bt22
December 13, 2008 amaury leveaux is wearing TRY who sponsered his french club and the french national team. Amaury leveaux is a swimmer that the french swimming federation was following since he is a junior , he has been training since 5 years in one of the french excelence pole , he come from a very difficult familly background and had psycological problems he overtook with the help of his coach and a mental coach.
Submitted by: maly
December 14, 2008 Leveaux wears a 30 long version of a TYR suit that is not yet available to all across the world of swimming, according to four senior coaches here in Rijeka. It is a version said not to contain neoprene. Clarification will follow. "Must be available to all", says the FINA rule book. How can a suit that is tailor made - and that is not only about size but about the construction of suits and the strategic placing of technology - be available to all?
Submitted by: winterings
December 14, 2008 Swimming is our sport. I think many are missing this basic point. What part of the nature of SPORT does performance enhancing suits fall under? So far, the suits have favored those that can afford them, those that have figured out how to manipulate the rules and wear more than one suit, those with specific body types (people respond differently to compression and buoyancy) and a few select sponsored athletes. Why? And where does this road lead to? I feel like ranting and raving about the short sightedness of EPO, mortgage-backed securities, bailouts, steroids, etc. Can't we just keep the rules of our sport simple and sacred before we open the door to unmanageable cheating and corruption? It doesn't have to be the American way....let's take a stand and stop it.
Submitted by: onebigdog
December 14, 2008 I LOVE LOVE LOVE Craig Lord's take on the European Championship farce. No one stood up during the DDR's run on "Faust's Gold". The Chinese had their brief flurry with chemical performance enhancers and now we have, "Swimsuits, the musical!" Let's just go back to basic nylon suits and let the athlete decide who is the best.
Submitted by: paddles
December 15, 2008 The current situation and spate of world records being set by performance enhancing suits is totally destroying the sport that I love. Think on this, if Michael Phelps had been beaten a number of times at the Olympics by a swimmer never heard off before and ranked outside the top 100. Would questions have been asked how this performance was achieved? Yes and rightly so! A while back drugs would have been suspected, now all you have to do is get the right suit to asist you. The drug manufacturers are always one step ahead of the testers and the body suit sag is very similar although legal. If Michael had been beaten by a custom made suit would there have been more criticism from the US swimming community? There certainly would have been and rightly so. True swimmers and fans of the sport want to see the best man or woman win, the suit should not be a factor. The results being twisted by these performance enhacers is nothing short of disgusting. Return to pre 2008 suits and stop this madness now or the sport of swimming will continue to spiral into the state of a freak show.
Submitted by: scotswim
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