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World Champs, Day 7 Evening Session: Veldhuis Secures Top Seed for Final of Women's 50 Freestyle -- July 30, 2005

By John Lohn

MONTREAL, Canada, July 30. WHEN the women’s 50-meter freestyle final is held on Sunday night, there won’t be much consensus regarding the order of the medalists. That much became clear during the semifinals of the event, which featured a jam-packed field. The Netherlands’ Marleen Veldhuis produced the top time of the round, a 24.92 effort.

The other swimmer to dip under 25 seconds was Sweden’s Therese Alshammar, less than an hour removed from claiming a bronze medal in the 50 butterfly. Without a race before the Sunday final, expect Alshammar to have some more energy in the tank. The Swede has been a longtime international force in the sprint events.

The Australian duo of Lisbeth Lenton and Alice Mills took the third and fourth seeds for the championship heat, thanks to times of 25.05 and 25.10, respectively. Mills actually tied for the fourth position with China’s Zhu Yingwen. The United States’ Kara Lynn Joyce earned a bid to the final with a swim of 25.14, tied with Belarus’ Svitlana Khakhlova for sixth. The eighth berth was secured by Estonia’s Jana Kolukanova (25.28).