Coada-Caslaru and Mocanu Look Sharp at Romanian Nationals -- June 16, 2001
PITESTI, ROMANIA, June 16. EUROPEAN champ and Olympic silver medalist Beatrice Coada-Caslaru lowered her pr and national record in the 100 breast during the World Championship Trials here late last week.
The Romanian star, who won a silver at Sydney in the 200 IM and a bronze in the 400, went 1:10.14 in the breaststroke to lower her mark of 1:10.54, done in early May at the French Championships in Chamalieres.
Coada-Caslaru also went a fast 2:26.84 to win the 200 breast, just off her seasonal-best 2:26.34, also done in France, that ranks her fouurth globally. That 2:26.34 is also her pr-NR and places her among the medal contention for next month's World Championships in Fukuoka.
She also won the 200 IM in 2:13.62, second globally to China's Hui Qi's 2:13.08. Coada-Caslaru's pr-NR is 2:12.57 that won her the Sydney runner-up spot and was the identical time that won her last summer's European Championships gold in Helsinki.
The meet was swum June 6-10.
Teammate Diana Mocanu, dual Olympic medalist in both backstrokes, showed she's rounding into shape via wins in the 50 (28.97, fourth globally); 100 (1:01.70) and 200 2:11.62 (third-fastest for 2001). Mocanu's 100 was just off her seasonal-best of 1:01.57 from last April's Turnier des Nations meet in Vienna that ranks her sixth.
Mocanu won the Sydney 200 back in 2:08.16, ranking her third on the all-time performers' list and sixth-fastest performance. However, the two women ahead of her -- Hungary's now-retired Kirstina Egerszegi and China's He -- have both hung up their skinsuits. Thus Mocanu would appear to be in position to take a crack at Egerszegi's world record of 2:06.62, set at the
1991 European Championships in Vienna.
The brilliant Hungarian dorsal specialist was double Olympic champ at both Barcelona and Atlanta and Mocanu appears to be on track to perhaps emulate her feats.
Mocanu could perhaps even give Volker and Zhivanevskaya a run in the 50 back too, although her pr(28.85) is a bit far off Volker's wr (28.25) and
Zhivanevskaya's pr-NR of 28.67.
Mocanu, Spain's Nina Zhivanevskaya, the United States' Natalie Coughlin and Volker will also be among the favorites for the 100 title in Japan. Coughlin, with her pr 1:01.32 from the Trials in Austin last March, ranks No. 2 globally. In addition to a medal in Japan -- preferably of the golden variety -- she'll be after former Stanford star Lee Loveless-Maurer's
American record 1:00.77 from the 1998 World Championships in Perth. Loveless' time was done in the prelims and she came back to win at night in 1:01.16.
Mocanu's winning 100 back at Sydney was 1:00.21, a mere .05 off China's He Cihong's world-record 1:00.16 she swam leading off the medley relay at the 1994 World Championships in Rome - a time most experts believe to have been chemically-enhanced. Mocanu ranks No. 2 on the all-time performers-performances list and has said her goal is to become the first
woman under a minute.
On the men's side, backstroker Razvan Florea just missed his pr-NR in the 100 (56.35) with a 56.38 and won the 200 in 2:01.42. His pr-NR here is 1:59.05 from the finals at Sydney.
-- Bill Bell