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World's Top Swimmers Gather in New York for Novo Nordisk Sprint Cup -- October 19, 2001

By Phillip Whitten

GLEN COVE, New York, Oct. 19. MANY of the world's top sprinters have arrived in New York to take part in the first Novo Nordisk Sprint Cup.

The meet, which will take place on Saturday from 7:00 to 10:00 pm at the Nassau County Aquatic Center on Long Island, is offering $310,000 in cash -- the biggest single payday in the history of the sport. Novo Nordisk, a Danish pharmaceutical company, is sponsoring the meet. Novo is a world leader in diabetes care.

In the days before the meet begins, all the swimmers are staying at the beautiful Harrison Conference Center in Great Neck, where enthusiasm for the meet is
growing and fast performances are being predicted.

The meet is the brainchild of Gary Hall, Jr., 27, a diabetic who is sponsored by Novo Nordisk. despite his diabetes, Hall on a gold medal in the 50m freestyle at the Sydney Olympics, along with two silver medals and a brone.

Three teams, consisting of up to 9 men and 9 women each, will compete for the Novo Nordisk Sprint Cup -- a stunning 2-foot tall, hand-carved sterling silver cup, symbolic of sprinting supremmacy in swimming: Team Stars and Stripes, Team European Union and Team World. They will contest eight women's and eight men's events in aa short course meters format:
200 meter medley relay
100 meter individual medley
25 meter freestyle
50 meter butterfly
50 meter breaststroke
50 meter backstroke
50 meter freestyle
200 meter freestyle relay

Scoring in individual events will be through six places: 10 points for first, 8 for second, 6 for third, and 4, and 1 for fourth through sixth. Scoring in relays will be 20-16-12.

In four of the six individual events, swimmers can earn $8,000 for first, $3,000 for secnd and $1,000 for third. The 50 free and one additional non-freestyle event, selected at random, will offer significantly more.

Among the top names competing here are Olympic and world champions:
TEAM STARS AND STRIPES
Josh Davis
Gary Hall, Jr.
Neil Walker
Amanda Beard
Haley Cope
Kristy Kowal
Megan Quann

TEAM EUROPEAN UNION
Lars Frolander (SWE)
Therese Alshammar (SWE)
Inge De Bruijn (NED)
Sandra Volker (GER)


Geoff Huegill (AUS)
Roman Sloudnov (RUS)
Martina Moravcova (SVK)

The meet will also feature world record-holders including Ed Moses (USA) Mark Foster (GBR), mark Warnecke (GER) and Johanna Sjoberg (SWE). In all, swimmers representing 14 countries will be competing.

The meet will be televised in the USA on Fox Sports Net on December 8, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm EST. Check local listings for broadcast time in your area. The meet will also b televised in Australia, Europe and South America.

Swimming World will carry an inside story of the meet along with complete results in its December issue. Swiminfo.com will have up-to-the-minute results and a story on Saturday night.