Imperia, Italy – The heros are tired. Jenny Thompson and Ian Thorpe, respectively in event 1 and 2, 100 free and 200 free, secured themselves an easy victory with times considerably slower compared to those that had highlighted previous World Cup meets: 54.41 for Jenny, 1:45.87 for Ian, maximum result with minimal effort.
Young Chinese woman Yu Yang (14) came in as a close second to Thompson, in 54.82, with Canada’s Laura Nicholls in third place with 54.89. In fourth place, with 55.13, 24-year-old Yevgeniya Yermakova, from Kazakhstan, who now lives in Auckland, New Zealand where she trains and coaches.
Igor Koleda, from Belarus came in second place behind Thorpe, with 1:47.05. In Imperia Thorpe swam wearing a short swimming suit not a full body one. He explained: “I wear the full body suit when I’m targeting a top performance, otherwise a shorter suit is okay. It’s like swimming shaved and unshaved”. For Thorpe this was the last World Cup meet: “I am very satisfied with all my performances, at every meet. I enjoyed every participation and every place where I went. Now I ‘ll go back to Sydney and to heavy training. I have to loose some weight to gain perfect form for the Olympic trials (scheduled in Sydney’s Olympic pool in May, 13-20)”.
Jenny Thompson prolonged her long standing winning streak with two more wins in the day, in the 100m IM, she dominated in 1:01.07 (with US Coughlin in second place.) and the 50 m butterfly with 26.64, with China’s Yi Ruan second in 26.60.
For Thompson, five wins overall in this meet, as in College Park and as in Sydney. She will now go to Paris, and that will be her last appearance in the World Cup. She said: “My times here were slower than in the previous meets because I’m under heavy training now and I feel a little tired, however I am very satisfied with all of my performances and I enjoyed this competition overall”.