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FINA World Championships, Swimming: Flash! Ariana Kukors Nearly Clears 2:06 For 200 IM World Title, World Record -- July 27, 2009

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ROME, Italy, July 27. ARIANA Kukors of the United States blasted her world record in the women's 200 IM finale at the FINA World Championships held in Rome. After posting an amazing time of 2:07.03 during semifinals, Kukors crushed the record with an astonishing 2:06.15 to nearly clear 2:06 altogether.


"I just needed to stay underwater as long as I could, and stay between my lane lines," Kukors said. "That last 50, I saw Stephanie coming up, so I just wanted to get my hand on the wall first. I never stopped believing. I've had a lot of ups and downs in my career. Dreams do come true, and I have a great coach and great family that didn't stop believing in me."

Australia's Stephanie Rice, the previous record holder heading into the meet, tied the now former world record with a silver-winning time of 2:07.03. Hungary's Katinka Hosszu snatched bronze in 2:07.46 as the 2:07 club grew to three.

Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry finished fourth in 2:08.94, while Denmark's Julie Hjorth-Hansen placed fifth in 2:09.73. Great Britain's Hannah Miley (2:09.91), Hungary's Evelyn Verraszto (2:09.98) and France's Camille Muffat (2:10.85) completed the final swims.


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July 27, 2009 So let me get this straight. Ariana Kukors.

Seeded at Nationals with a 2:10.40. Swam a 2:11.68 in the morning and a 2:11.07 at finals. Has never broken 2:10. Then swims a 2:08.5, 2:07.0, and 2:06.1? That just doesn't happen.
Submitted by: Sphere
July 27, 2009 I know the conversion factor is not right on the money but her 2:06.15 meters converts to a 1:49.37 yards! That is a huge drop. Is she going to transfer to another college with the ending of WU or just swim club?
Submitted by: dakotarussell
July 27, 2009 I know the conversion factor is not right on the money but her 2:06.15 meters converts to a 1:49.37 yards! That is a huge drop. Is she going to transfer to another college with the ending of WU or just swim club?
Submitted by: dakotarussell
July 27, 2009 I don't find Kukors' time shocking considering the other performances at this meet. Certainly not as shocking as Piersol not making the final. Illness? Brain freeze?
Submitted by: oldaardvark
July 27, 2009 Gratz to Ariana, and to Coach Sean Hutchison of King Aquatics!!
Submitted by: Swimmer Bill
July 27, 2009 I hate to go all Craig Lord here, but this race kind of embarrassed me as a swimming fan. I like to see fast swimming and world records as much as the next person, but two take 2 seconds off of a 200 world record is just ridiculous. I don't blame Kukors for wearing an allowed suit, and I applaud her for winning, but this is just surreal. I was on the fence about the suit ban before, but now, count me firmly on the side of reverting back.
Submitted by: MJB
July 27, 2009 I am very impressed by Ariana's swim, and cutting 2.5 secs off the WR can't be all suit.

But I will say that she switched from TYR to Jaked between Nats and Worlds.
Submitted by: SwimDER94
July 27, 2009 Yeah, I think the Jaked did it too (the time, not the place), great swim for Kukors but not 2:06! With Coventry at 4th in her "old-fashioned" LZR and a "quaint" 2:08.9, this event says it all about the suit controversy. But you gotta hand it to Arianna, beautiful strokes, turns, and not a single weakness, and Rice also in a Jaked, so fair fight between those two, at least...

Kukors didn't swim for UW last season anyway, even though she was still a student there, so it won't make any difference for her either; she's got a great coach at King so chances are very good she'll stay.

Wonder if Coventry is second guessing her suit choice; she's got an uphill battle in the 100 back tomorrow...and the 400 IM against Rice. I think her 200 back is still safe though, it she doesn't tire out...
Submitted by: liquidassets
July 27, 2009 Oldaardvark; re: Peirsol, his start, breakout and 1st 50 were right on track. His turn was OK but not as good as usual, and even though he said he felt fast, his last 25 meters looked a bit off, Rowdy was commenting on the overhead shot how he was over reaching across midline in the entry; seemed to overcompensating for something a little off on the underwater portion of the stroke--maybe some of the coaches here might have an idea about that.
Submitted by: liquidassets
July 27, 2009 To be fair to Coventry, she had just come out of the 100 back semis, so that had to affect her a bit.
Submitted by: SwimDER94
July 27, 2009 liquid...watched the post race interview with Peirsol. I don't think it came down to anything more than he just screwed up on his awareness of where he was in the heat.
He said he felt he was in better position than he was. And if you think about it, when in history except for this ridiculous circus of a meet would 53 low not only medal, but probably have a shot at winning?
He definitely seemed a little dumbstruck in the interview that he was not it it.
I really think it was just a tactical/strategic error. He tries to wait to throw the 'big' one out in the final but for once, his plan kind of backfired.
Stinks, but after 8 years of big meet dominance, I think he is allowed one "oops". He'll be back in the 200 and will have the medley relay to reclaim his WR which will probably fall in the final judging by all the other races.
Submitted by: rcoach
July 27, 2009
I'd love to see Mel Stewart replace Rowdy Gaines as the color guy for NBC/Universal Sports swimming broadcasts. Rowdy seems to be out of sync with his narrative of what's going on in at least half the races.

Tomorrow's 200 free final with Biedermann, Phelps, and the young Russian should be epic. Shades of 2004 with Thorpe, vdH, and Phelps.








Submitted by: SilverMedalMel
July 27, 2009 Who cares what suit Ariana was wearing. She took advantage of her opportunity to swim the event and put together three incredible swims. The world record and gold medal are well deserved!! Great job, Ariana!!!!
Submitted by: Avaholics87
July 27, 2009 Haha, Mel I'm with you. The commentary on the men's 4 free relay was awful. There was no mention of the Russians at all! And they were leading at the 300m mark!!
Submitted by: Sphere
July 27, 2009 Crazy thing. Kukors is now 3 seconds faster than the next fastest American...

Phelps may see his first upset tomorrow (I'm guessing Biedermann can drop another second, Phelps will go 1:43 low), but by no means the only one in these championships. I think he may also find winning the 100 fly a tall order (I think Cavic will definitely go 49.9 (23.2, 26.7).

In a week's time we might see Lochte (firm lock on the 200IM, slight edge on the 400IM, firm lock on the 4x200 relay; he might only place 3rd in the 200 back) tied with Phelps for the most golds (4 each).
Submitted by: mario2007
July 27, 2009 With Cseh still a bit sick and Peirsol and Irie not looking like they are at their respective bests, there is a slight possibility of Lochte taking five golds! Of note, Cseh has never been on the entry list for the 200 fly.
Submitted by: SwimDER94
July 27, 2009 Depending on how Grevers does in the finals and also whether or not he advances in the 50 back (on the last day), he may completely bypass the medley relay in favor of letting Peirsol go fast in the prelims to secure his night spot. Unless he goes 52-very low tomorrow, I actually think the coaches may put him in prelims and Peirsol in finals based on past performances, especially Nationals, where Peirsol beat Grevers by about 1.2 secs!

Honestly, all due respect to the eight guys that made it, but I hope one of them gets food poisoning and pulls out (like Bal did at Nats) so Peirsol can swim!
Submitted by: SwimDER94
July 28, 2009 I disagree that it was a "fair" fight between Kukors and Rice because they both wore Jakeds...the theme of 2009 is that these rubber suits help certain swimmers more than others, so we won't have a level playing field until 2010.
Submitted by: FatDrew
July 28, 2009 FatDrew; yeah, I forgot that aspect, you may be right. Although I do remember everyone saying last year that Rice was the one who the suits helped the most because of her body type/structure, and her huge drops (12 seconds in 400 IM, etc.) . But your point is well-taken, these suits are even different from last year, so who knows? Nobody expected Kukors to drop from 2:11 to 2:06 in 2 weeks, that's for sure..
Submitted by: liquidassets
Reaction Time responses do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions
of Swimming World Magazine or SwimmingWorldMagazine.com.

Reaction Time is provided as a service to our readers.




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