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Pellegrini Leads the Field in Women's 200m Free Semis; Vollmer, Franzi Advance -- August 16, 2004 prelims 200 free

By Phillip Whitten and Stephen J. Thomas

ATHENS, Greece August 16. FOR months the women's 200 free has looked wide open, with at least a dozen women having a legitimate shot at a medal and a couple of highly ranked swimmers namely Petria Thomas and Otylia Jedrzejczak skipped this race.

That's why they race.

After two rounds, the dust is beginning to clear, and there have been many a high-profile casualty. World number one Melanie Marshall had a shocker, swimming 2:01.06, Atlanta winner Claudia Poll looked good in the prelims but missed the cut tonight, so too Aussie Elka Graham and world champs gold medalist Romanian Camelia Potec, Sydney Olympic silver medalist Martina Moravcova, China's Yang Yu and American record holder Lindsay Benko missed her last shot at individual gold.

Marshall could hardly contain her disappointment. "Fifteen years of hard work, it's heart wrenching that I am not in the finals and I should be," she said. :i have four girls depending on me in the relay now so I am still helpful of getting a medal."

What is emerging is a new generation of middle-distance swimmers.
Italian 16-year-old Federica Pellegrini took the top spot in round two with a national record 1:58.02. She said after her race, "I have been confident since Barcelona, decided to start steadily and build my race," she said. China's Jiaying Pang was confident she could do better in the final

France's Solenne Figues said she was relaxed about her chances after winning the second semifinal in 1:58.65, as was China's Pang Jiaying (1:58.68) and 16-year-old American, Dana Vollmer (1:59.04) and Polish teen Paulina Barzycka 91:59.10).

World record-holder Franzi Van Almsick (pictured) made it through, but fell away in the final 50-meters. She'll have to improve considerably on her 1:59.13, good for sixth, to win that elusive gold medal.





Women 200m Freestyle Semifinals Semifinal 1



Record Splits Name NOC Location Date
WR 1:56.64 27.14 56.27 1:26.33 van ALMSICK Franziska GER Berlin (GER) 03 AUG 2002
OR 1:57.65 28.55 58.50 1:26.03 FRIEDRICH Heike GDR Seoul (KOR) 21 SEP 1988


Event No: 13

Rank Lane Name NOC R.T. 50m 100m 150m Time Time
Behind
1 5 PELLEGRINI Federica ITA 0.82 (=5) 28.39 (4) 58.34
29.95 (1) 1:28.23
29.89 1:58.02
29.79
2 1 PANG Jiaying CHN 0.77 (3) 28.15 (2) 58.25
30.10 (=4) 1:28.98
30.73 1:58.68
29.70 0.66
3 3 LILLHAGE Josefin SWE 0.85 (7) 28.45 (6) 58.64
30.19 (=4) 1:28.98
30.34 1:59.31
30.33 1.29
4 4 POLL AHRENS Claudia CRC 0.89 (8) 28.47 (8) 58.88
30.41 (7) 1:29.49
30.61 1:59.79
30.30 1.77
5 7 POPCHANKA Alena BLR 0.73 (2) 28.08 (5) 58.51
30.43 (6) 1:29.40
30.89 1:59.87
30.47 1.85
6 6 BENKO Lindsay USA 0.81 (4) 28.18 (3) 58.27
30.09 (2) 1:28.92
30.65 2:00.22
31.30 2.20
7 8 YANG Yu CHN 0.74 (=5) 28.39 (7) 58.78
30.39 (8) 1:29.74
30.96 2:00.52
30.78 2.50
8 2 MARSHALL Melanie GBR 0.71 (1) 27.46 (1) 57.66
30.20 (3) 1:28.96
31.30 2:01.06
32.10 3.04



Women 200m Freestyle Semifinals Semifinal 2


Record Splits Name NOC Location Date
WR 1:56.64 27.14 56.27 1:26.33 van ALMSICK Franziska GER Berlin (GER) 03 AUG 2002
OR 1:57.65 28.55 58.50 1:26.03 FRIEDRICH Heike GDR Seoul (KOR) 21 SEP 1988


Event No: 13

Rank Lane Name NOC R.T. 50m 100m 150m Time Time
Behind
1 3 FIGUES Solenne FRA 0.81 (4) 28.23 (1) 57.95
29.72 (1) 1:28.54
30.59 1:58.65
30.11
2 4 VOLLMER Dana USA 0.74 (5) 28.27 (3) 58.19
29.92 (3) 1:28.83
30.64 1:59.04
30.21 0.39
3 5 BARZYCKA Paulina POL 0.87 (6) 28.35 (5) 58.67
30.32 (4) 1:29.32
30.65 1:59.10
29.78 0.45
4 2 van ALMSICK Franziska GER 0.86 (1) 27.66 (2) 58.06
30.40 (2) 1:28.79
30.73 1:59.13
30.34 0.48
5 7 POTEC Camelia ROM 0.89 (7) 28.54 (8) 59.08
30.54 (5) 1:29.44
30.36 1:59.25
29.81 0.60
6 6 GRAHAM Elka AUS 0.86 (8) 28.59 (7) 59.05
30.46 (7) 1:29.61
30.56 1:59.44
29.83 0.79
7 8 MORAVCOVA Martina SVK 0.73 (2) 28.19 (6) 58.86
30.67 (8) 1:29.72
30.86 1:59.96
30.24 1.31
8 1 NAGAI Tomoko JPN 0.73 (3) 28.21 (4) 58.62
30.41 (6) 1:29.49
30.87 2:00.09
30.60 1.44