BERLIN, Germany, November 18. AFTER a smoking fast first day of swimming in the FINA World Cup series, Berlin did it again with a plethora of national records including a handful of World Cup standards and a pair of world records to boot.
Berlin easily laid claim as the fastest stop of the World Cup thus far with four world records overall. With a pair of global standards the first day from Sweden's Stefan Nystrand and the Netherlands' Marleen Veldhuis, Nystrand returned with another while Brazil's Thiago Pereira picked up a world record of his own.
Meanwhile, Veldhuis set a World Cup record, while Randall Bal and Dara Torres of the United States each posted big times with American records.
Men's 1500 freestyle
Korea's Tae Hwan Park started the second day of the meet off strong with an impressive 14:34.39 in the distance event. He split times of 56.11, 1:55.09, 2:53.70, 3:52.62, 4:51.35, 5:50.08, 6:48.80, 7:46.93, 8:44.79, 9:43.02, 10:41.24, 11:39.60, 12:37.93 and 13:36.31 on the way to the second-fastest time in the world this year behind only Grant Hackett's 14:23.13 set at the Aussie Short Course Championships in August. It also fell short of Hackett's World Cup record of 14:29.51 set in 2000.
Italy's Federico Colbertaldo placed second in 14:43.18, while Germany's Manuel Schwarz took third in 15:13.46.
The rest of the Korean Park trio, Young Ho (15:13.58) and Chan Hee (15:41.71) completed the field in the event.
Women's 100 freestyle
After shooting down the global standard in the 50 free, Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands took a run at the 100 free time of 51.70 held by Libby Lenton since 2005 but came up short. Veldhuis still wound up with the World Cup standard with a blazing time of 52.14 to nip the 52.17 set by Lenton at the Sydney stop in 2005.
Velhuis nearly had all she could handle with Germany's Britta Steffen clocking in at 52.17 right behind her to crush her German record (52.82), while the United States' Dara Torres added the 100 free American record to her bag with a third-place time of 52.79. That performance clipped Natalie Coughlin's time of 52.81 set in 2004. Sweden's Josefin Lillhage also went sub-53 with a fourth-place time of 52.84.
All four times moved into the top five this year behind only Lenton's 51.83 set at the Aussie Short Course Championships in August.
Men's 200 freestyle
Demonstrating his range and endurance, Korea's Tae Hwan Park returned immediately after the 1500 free to capture gold in the 200 free with a scorching time of 1:42.22. That moved him into first in the world this year after improving on his previous season best of 1:43.38 set at the Sydney stop.
Germany's Paul Biedermann battled Park the whole way, leading into the 150-meter mark, 1:16.74 to 1:17.16, before succumbing to Park's 25.06 final 50 en route to a second-place time of 1:42.39, now the second best in the world this year. The time, however, eclipsed one of the longest-standing records on the books as he took down Michael Gross' German record of 1:44.14 set in Paris in 1988.
Biedermann's teammate Stefan Herbst picked up a distant third place with a time of 1:45.29, holding off France's Fabien Gilot (1:45.58) for the final medal.
Women's 50 breaststroke
After suffering her first breaststroke loss in the World Cup series yesterday during the 100, Russian teenager Yuliya Efimova returned fire with a Russian-record time of 30.29 to move into third in the world this year behind only Leisel Jones (30.03) and Sophie Edington (30.04). That win also gave her a seventh breaststroke medal in the World Cup.
Germany's Sarah Poewe finished a bit behind with a second-place effort of 30.95, while compatriots Simone Weiler (31.20) and Sonja Schoeber (31.29) completed the top four.
Men's 100 breaststroke
South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh picked off RSA's national record in the event with a blazing time of 58.70, which moved him into the fastest time in the world this year just ahead of Christian Sprenger's 58.71. The readout also eclipsed the national record time of 59.56 set by Gregory Owen in 2004.
Meanwhile, Grigory Falko placed second in 59.29, with Ukraine's Oleg Lisogor taking third in 59.47.
The Netherlands' Robin van Aggele (59.58) and France's Hugues Duboscq (59.80) joined them under a minute.
Women's 400 IM
Italy's Alessia Filippi lowered her Italian national record in the event with a sterling time of 4:30.25. On top of crushing the previous fastest time in the world this year of 4:32.48 set by Stephanie Rice at the Aussie Short Course Champs, Filippi also chopped more than a second from her national standard time of 4:31.58 set last year in December.
Meanwhile, Germany's Nicole Hetzer, the German record holder with a 4:29:46 in her ledger, settled for silver with a time of 4:33.26.
Additionally, the United States claimed another medal, this time in the form of Julie Stupp's third-place effort of 4:35.81 that moved her into the top 10 in the world this year.
Men's 100 butterfly
The Serbian-record holder in the event, Milorad Cavic, threw down a time of 51.07 to win the race ahead of Australia's Andrew Lauterstein, who touched in 51.26. While Lauterstein already owns the top time in the world this year with a 50.85 set at the Aussie Short Course Championships, Cavic moved into third behind Nikolay Skvortsov's 50.97 from the Moscow stop.
New Zealand's Moss Burmester rounded out the top three with a time of 52.34.
Women's 100 backstroke
With Natalie Coughlin's world record time of 56.51 set at the Singapore stop, the rest of the world is just in chase in this event. Germany's Janine Pietsch gave her national record a run with a time of 58.34 to move into fourth in the world this year. The readout, however, came up short of her national standard time of 58.02 set in 2006.
Pietsch's teammate Antje Buschschulte pushed her the entire way with a time of 58.54, while world champion in the 50 back over the long course, Leila Vaziri of the United States, took third in 59.16.
Men's 50 backstroke
After questions were raised regarding a potential American-record tying time of 23.42 from earlier in the series was actually an American record, Randall Bal removed all doubt as he blazed to his 17th backstroke victory in the circuit with a World Cup time.
Bal blistered the pool with a time of 23.33, just off Thomas Rupprath's world record time of 23.27, but under the World Cup standard 23.39 held by both Matt Welsh and Peter Marshall. The 23.39 clocked by Marshall also stood as the American record until Bal surpassed the mark.
Rupprath, meanwhile, checked in with a second-place time of 23.47, while South Africa's Gerhard Zandberg tied his South African record with a third-place readout of 23.67. Zandberg had set the national record initially at the Stockholm stop.
Women's 200 butterfly
China's Jiao Liu Yang and Canada's Audrey Lacroix staged a head-to-head battle much to the delight of the fans. Jiao, however, had way too much left in the tank in the final 50 as she overcame Lacroix with a winning time of 2:04.48. Lacroix, meanwhile, fell just short of her Canadian record time of 2:04.53 with a second-place 2:04.68.
Lacroix took a slim early lead at the 50, 27.82 to 27.83, and built on it throughout the race. At the 100, she led 59.00 to 59.44, then pushed that to a 1:30.98 to 1:32.04 lead at the 150. Jiao, however, blasted the final 50 with a 32.44 split against Lacroix's 33.70.
Germany's Franziska Hentke picked up third-place honors with a time of 2:06.47, just ahead of teammate Annika Melhorn's fourth-place 2:06.66.
Men's 200 IM
Building on a two-medal medley day from the first day, Brazil's Thiago Pereira swept the IM events with a global standard during this second day of competition. This time Pereira clocked a time of 1:53.14 to chop .17 seconds from Ryan Lochte's world record time of 1:53.31 set in Shanghai in 2006. Pereira posted splits of 24.86, 28.16, 33.12 and 27.00 on the way to the world record. He blew away the previous best time in the world this year of 1:54.66 set by Leith Brodie at the Aussie Short Course Championships.
Meanwhile, New Zealand's Dean Kent took second in 1:57.79, while Lithuania's Vytautas Janusaitis placed third in 1:58.18.
Women's 400 freestyle
With the crowd still buzzing from Pereira's global standard in the 200 IM, Italy's Federica Pellegrini demolished the field in the women's 400 free with a time of 4:02.29 – the second-fastest time in the world this year behind only Bronte Barratt's 3:59.94 set at the Sydney stop.
Canada's Charnelle Charron-Watson, meanwhile, picked up second place with a time of 4:07.97, while Taipei's Yang Chin Kuei grabbed a bronze medal with a time of 4:10.07.
Men's 50 freestyle
With Thiago Pereira's world record in the 200 SCM IM just a few minutes old, Sweden's Stefan Nystrand completed a clean race in the men's 50 free to set a record he previously thought he already owned after an earlier stop in the series.
Earlier in the World Cup, Nystrand touched well ahead of the world record of 20.98 set by Roland Schoeman of South Africa. Nystrand, however, was disqualified due to a problem with his start.
After taking down the 100 free world record yesterday, Nystrand did not mess around in the splash-and-dash as he nipped Schoeman's standard with a 20.93.
Schoeman, meanwhile, picked up silver in 21.39, while Australia's Eamon Sullivan took bronze in 21.48.
Women's 200 breaststroke
Russian teenager Yuliya Efimova claimed her eighth World Cup gold medal in nine tries in the breaststroke events. This time, she became the first Russian female under 2:21 with a national record time of 2:20.95. That performance surpassed her previous standard of 2:21.41 set at the Stockholm stop and improved that time as the second best in the world this year.
China's Sun Ye finished a distant second with a time of 2:23.46 as she held off Germany's Anne Poleska (2:23.75) and Sarah Poewe (2:24.13).
Women's 100 IM
France's Laure Manaudou captured the sprint medley crown with a time of 1:01.12, which tied her for fourth in the world this year as Aleksandra Urbanczyk posted the same time at the Moscow stop.
Germany's Sonja Schoeber gave her national record a scare with a second-place time of 1:01.33. However, Teresa Rohmann's 1:01.18 from 2004 held up under the pressure.
Another national-record scare happened in third-place as Russia's Olga Klyuchnikova placed just .03 seconds off the Russian record of 1:01.42 set by Daria Belyakina in Volgograd earlier this year. Klyuchnikova finished the race in 1:01.45.
Men's 200 backstroke
18-for-18, that's how dominant the United States' Randall Bal has been in the backstroke events in the World Cup circuit. He finished off another event sweep in Berlin in grand style with a World Cup record time of 1:50.42. That performance erased Markus Rogan's 1:50.67 set here in Berlin in 2005, and cut more than a second off Bal's season-best time of 1:51.78 that stands as the top in the world this year.
Russian record holder Arkady Vyatchanin garnered silver in 1:52.35, while Germany's Aschwin Wildeboer finished a bit shy of his country's national record with a third-place 1:53.68. Steffen Driesen owns the German record in the event with a 1:53.07 from Dublin in 2003.
Women's 50 butterfly
Sweden's Therese Alshammar closed the fastest stop of the FINA World Cup circuit with the swiftest time in the world this year in the sprint fly. Alshammar, while short of the world record of 25.33 set by compatriot Anna-Karin Kammerling, still managed to put together a 25.47 to win the final gold medal on offer in Berlin. The performance eclipsed the top time in the world of 25.53 set by Libby Lenton at the Sydney stop.
The Netherlands' Inge Dekker took a run at her country's national record, but fell short with a second-place time of 25.72. Inge de Bruijn's 25.64 set in 2000 lived to fight another day.
Kammerling rounded out the top three with a time of 25.82 – the final sub-26 mark of the race.