TRIESTE, Italy, December 11. ONLY one world record was set on the final day of the European Short Course Championships, but the event will go down as splendid. During the four-day affair, eight world records were established, including a pair each by France’s Laure Manaudou and Hungary’s Laszlo Cseh. Both athletes won three titles, with Cseh securing his trifecta in Sunday action.
A triple-event medalist at last summer’s World Championships in Montreal, Cseh burned the field in the 100 backstroke, thanks to a swim of 51.29. The effort handed Cseh victory over Russia’s Arkady Vyatchanin, who won silver in each of the three backstroke races. Vyatchanin touched the wall in 51.47, just ahead of the 51.50 of Germany’s Thomas Rupprath. Markus Rogan, who set a world record in the 200 back on the first night of the meet, was fourth in the 100 distance in 51.62.
The 200 freestyle races produced an Italian sweep for the home crowd, although the female race featured a tie for the gold medal. Italy’s Federica Pellegrini and Sweden’s Josefin Lillhage hit the touchpads in identical marks of 1:55.54. As for men’s race, Italy’s Filippo Magnini complemented the gold he won in the 100 free with a 200 free time of 1:42.89. Magnini was followed home by countryman Massi Rosolino, who delivered a performance of 1:43.32.
Slovakia’s Martina Moravcova, long a dominant force on the international scene, won the 100 butterfly for the 19th European title of her career. Moravcova checked in at 58.19 to defeat France’s Alena Popchanka (58.27) and Sweden’s Johanna Sjoeberg (58.39). Meanwhile, Slovenia’s Peter Mankoc secured a commanding triumph in the 100 individual medley. Mankoc covered the race in 52.65, well ahead of the 53.38 effort turned in by the Ukraine’s Oleg Lisogor.
Poland enjoyed a strong finish to the competition as it received a pair of breaststroke victories and a first-place showing in the 400 individual medley. In the men’s 200 breaststroke, Slawomir Kuczko navigated his way to a win in 2:07.01, barely swifter than the 2:07.04 swim of Russia’s Grigory Falko. Italy’s Paolo Bossini was third in 2:07.70. Katarzyna Baranowska was the winner of the 400 I.M. (4:33.70) and Beata Kaminska topped her opposition in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.51).
The Ukraine’s Iryna Amshennikova was the victor in the women’s 200 backstroke (2:05.12) and Sweden’s Lars Frolander, defying age, was the winner of the 50 butterfly. The 31-year-old won the sprint fly in 23.08, finishing just ahead of 35-year-old Mark Foster of Great Britain. Foster popped a swim of 23.12. The women’s 50 free went to the Netherlands’ Marleen Veldhuis in 24.32 and the Netherlands set a world record in the men’s 200 free relay with a time of 1:25.03. The foursome consisted of Mark Veens, Mitja Zastrow, Gijs Damen and Johan Kenkhuis. The former record was 1:25.55, set by the Netherlands in 2003.