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Short Course World Champs, Day One: Crocker Breezes Through 100 Fly Semis -- October 7, 2004

INDIANAPOLIS, October 7. IAN Crocker, the short course and long course world record-holder in the 100-meter fly, is awfully tough to beat in his favorite event.

After tonight's semifinals, it appears unlikely any of the other seven finalists will have a realistic hope of upsetting Crocker, one of the fiercest competitors ever to dive into a pool

Splitting 23.21 seconds at the 50-meter turn, the University of Texas graduate already had built a one-second advantage over all but one of his 15 competitors. Like his friend and teammate Brendan Hansen in the 100 breast, Crocker was fastest coming home as well as going out. His easy 50.61-second performance was more than a second ahead of Britain's surprising James Hickman (51.69). It appears he has a lot left in the tank, though his WR of 49.07 probably is safe.

The second American, Ben MIchaelson, qualified seventh at 52.28, as it took a 52.37 to make the finals.