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FINA To Go With Semifinals -- May 10, 1998

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FINA will introduce semifinals at the 2000 Olympics despite calls for more consultation with national bodies, FINA honorary secretary Gunnar Werner said. President of Australian Swimming, Terry Gathercole, and national coach Don Talbot have spoken out about the demands of semifinals and believe that the move will end achievements such as Mark Spitz's seven gold medals in 1972.

Werner said television organizations had been one source for the push for semifinals, saying the current structure of A and B finals was ''too boring.'' The semifinals will be on the night programs and in all events up to 200 meters.