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LONDON, England, July 31. 2004 Olympic silver medalist Daniel Gyurta turned in an Olympic textile best in the men's 200-meter breaststroke preliminary qualifying heats at the 2012 London Olympics.
Gyurta, in heat three of five, raced to a time of 2:08.71. That swim eclipsed the Olympic textile best of 2:09.44 clocked by Kosuke Kitajima at the 2004 Athens Olympics, the time that beat Gyurta's 2:10.80 for gold that year. Gyurta is vying to vault back onto the podium after winding up fifth in the event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and would ultimately like to join Jozsef Szabo and Norbert Rozsa as Hungarian 200 breast Olympic gold medalists.
“This race was really good, it felt good being in the water. I did better than I thought. I have been concentrating on the 100m breaststroke. So it's great the 200m was so successful,” Gyurta said. “I managed to use my energy well throughout the 200m and I got lucky too.”
Great Britain's Michael Jamieson touched just behind Gyurta in heat three with a national record time of 2:08.98. The last time Great Britain medalled in the event came in 1992 with a bronze from Nick Gillingham. David Wilkie is the last gold medalist in the event for the host nation from the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Great Britain's Andrew Willis will join Jamieson in pursuing that hardware after qualifying third in 2:09.33. Willis took his swim out fast, under world-record pace at the 50, before settling for the heat victory.
“I did a really good swim in the 100 meters and that has given me a lot of confidence,” Jamieson said. “I was just aiming to make the semis. I usually struggle to catch these guys (in the second half of the race). A lot of the bigger guys will step up tonight so I am going to have to do the same.”
Japan's Ryo Tatieshi (2:09.37) and Kitajima (2:09.43) qualified fourth and fifth. Kitajima, who missed out on the podium in the 100 breast, is looking for a threepeat in the longer event. No man has accomplished the feat, while Dawn Fraser and Krisztina Egerszegi both have won three straight. Michael Phelps is also pursuing a threepeat in the 200 fly after missing his first bid as well in the 400 IM.
USA's Clark Burckle (2:09.55) and Scott Weltz (2:09.67) qualified sixth and seventh, while Lithuania's Giedrius Titenis took eighth in 2:10.36.
Russia's Viatcheslav Sinkevich (2:10.48), New Zealand's Glenn Snyders (2:10.55), Germany's Marco Koch (2:10.61), Luxembourg's Lauren Carnol (2:10.83), Canada's Scott Dickens (2:10.95), Brazil's Tales Cerdeira (2:11.05), Australia's Brenton Rickard (2:11.41) and Germany's Christian Vom Lehn (2:11.66) all made semis as well.
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