PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain. July 5. THE rain in Spain may stay mainly on the plain, but you can't convince any of the visitors to sunny Mallorca of that dubious claim. It' been raining records here at the European Masters Swimming Championships on this Mediterranean vacation island.
The cream of Europe's Masters swimming community picked up where they left off yesterday, breaking four world and 22 continental records on the third day of the Championships.
Three of the four global standards broken today fell in the 100 meter breaststroke.
In the men's 45-49 age group, Jurgen Bruhn of Germany stroke to a 1:11.80, erasing the USA's Jack Groselle's 1999 mark of 1:12.29 and countryman Thomas Paehr's Euro mark of 1:12.55 from last year. Paehr gave Bruhn a tough fight, touching in 1:12.05, also under Groselle's old world record.
Britain's Maggie Kelly, who hails from Nottingham – the same neck of the woods that Robin Hood once frequented – scored her second stunning womn's 45-49 world record of the meet. Kelly became the oldest woman ever to break 1:20 in the 100m breaststroke, touching in 1:18.19. The old world record was held by American Olympian Susan Roy at 1:22.27 from 1994, while the European mark, set by Germany's Ulrike Urbaniak, stood at 1:23.88.
Russia's Olga Kokorina, 78, notched her second world mark at Palma and, once again, her victim was Japan's Satoko Suzuki. Kokorina clocked 1:52.44, erasing Suzuki's 1:52.54 from 1999 and her own European standard of 1:56.06.
The final world record of the day was produced by France's Maurice Lusien in the 75-79 age group in a 200 meter butterfly race where a swimmer had to smash the old continental record just to win a medal.
Lusien negotiated the four laps of fly in 3:34.30, more than nine seconds under the listed global mark of 3:43.56 set by the USA's Anton Cerer nine years ago. The time obliterated the European record of 3:57.18 set by the Czech Republic's Jan Ziegler only last year.
Ziegler was well under his old mark in finishing second here in 3:45.86, while Germany's Karl Hauter was a strong third at 3:48.12.
Women's European Records
Four women from four different countries set European records in the 50 meter backstroke.
Israel's Edith Thein, 83, clocked 55.14 seconds, striking Britain's Will Van Rysel's record of 55.92 for women 80-84 from the record book.
Danish Olympian Greth Bendtsen clocked 43.49 to break her own 70-74 standard of 43.49 set last year.
Britain's Carol Fellows went 37.01 to notch a 55-59 record, erasing countrywoman's Margaret Wilding's 37.27 from the record book. Fellows also holds the continental standard for women 50-54 at 35.85.
In the 40-44 division, Germany's Ute Romberg went 33.09. The old recrd was 34.12, set by benedicte Bazureau-duprez of France in 1996.
In addition to the two 100 meter breaststroke swims that were also world marks, there were two other two-lap breaststroke performances that set European marks.
Belgium's Eliane Pellis went 1:39.70, slipping by Britain's Flora Connolly's 65-69 mark of 1:39.98.
In the 50-54 age group, Britain's Jennifer Merritt
clocked 1;27.47, easily defeating Russia's Galina Prozumenshchikova, a medalist in the 200m breast in three Olympiads. Britain's Elaine bromwich owned the old Euro mark of 1:28.05 from 1996.
Four continental marks fell in the women's 200 meter fly.
Austria's Sylvia Neuhauser went 3:52.01, breaking her own 70-74 standard of 3:53.92 from this same meet two years ago.
Susan Skiff, an American ex-pat living in Italy, clocked 2:48.28 to set a 45-49 record. The old mark was 2:57.50 set by Germany's Claudia Koch four years ago. Koch was second here in 3:01.03.
Britain's Judy Hattle lowered her own 40-44 standard from last year's 2:42.96 to 2:39.30.
The youngest record-breaker was Britain's Katherine Veale whose 2:29.08 sliced 22-hundredths of a second off the old mark held by Germany's Gabi Ottke.
Men's European Records
As they did yesterday, the men produced fewer European records than the women, but there still were some spectacular performances. Three Euro marks fell in the men's one-lap backstroke sprint, all to men who became record-holders in two age groups.
Britain's Cliff Ward wrote his name in the record book for men 70-74 when he clocked 38.08 seconds for the 50m back. The old mark of 38.71 was held by Germany's Helmut Kunzel. Ward also owns the continntal record in the 65-69 division at 36.55.
In the 55-59 age group, Hungary's Jozsef Csikany touched in 32.58 breaking Jurgen Dietze's 1994 standard of 32.70. Csikany also holds the 50-54 record at 31.50.
Switzerland's Craig Norrey streaked to a 28.87 performance in the 40-44 age group, breaking the 29.29 continental standard held by Poland's Darius Wolny. The Pole was a close second here in 29.11, also well under his old mark. Norrey shows little sign of slowing down: he holds the European record in the 35-39 age group at 28.86, a time he recorded two years ago.
In the 100m breaststroke, Britain's Thomas Walker carved one tenth of a second off his own European record of 1:26.54 set last year. Walker also holds the 60-64 mark.
Russia's Alexei Vlassenko set his second European mark of the meet, powering his way to victory in the 35-39 division in 1:07.61 to handily defeat Germany's Andreas Grunberg (1:09.02). Both men were under the old mark of 1:09.44 set by Sweden's Glen Christiansen in 1995. On day One of this meet, Vlassenko set a WR in the 200 IM (2:12.03).
The 200m fly saw three coninental records fall in addition to the world mark set in the 75-79 age group.
Poland's Marian Raczynski clocked 3:12.13, just under the 3:12.68 set by German werner Muller in 1998.
Britain's Graham Shortdid not fall short in the 55-59 age group, touching in 2:45.06, just a shade under France's Jean-Claude Faure's 2:45.75 set last year.
In the youngest age group, Germany's Robert Bayer stroked a 2:08.18, easily bettering the 2:11.00 held by Britain's Richard Stent.
For complete results, click on: www.mastersswimming.com/palma2001