BARCELONA, Spain, June 5. IN the wake of Michael Phelps’ decision to bypass the 400 individual medley at the World Championships, is there anyone capable of pushing Laszlo Cseh for the gold medal? From all indications this weekend, the answer is no.
One day after winning the 200 individual medley in a sub two-minute clocking, the Hungarian youngster took top honors in the 400 I.M. at the Barcelona stop of the Mare Nostrum Series. Cseh, the bronze medalist in the event in Athens, scored the field on Sunday with a mark of 4:12.59.
Cseh, however, wasn’t the only athlete looking strong with Montreal on the horizon, as Camelia Potec (Romania) and Marleen Veldhuis (Netherlands) uncorked quality efforts. Adding to her triumphs in the 200 and 800 freestyles from Saturday, Potec posted a time of 4:10.58 en route to a win in the 400 free. As for Veldhuis, she followed a 50 free decision with a victory in the 100 freestyle (55.03).
The Ukraine’s Andriy Serdinov, Olympic bronze medalist in the 100 butterfly, won his prime event in a meet-record 52.54. Meanwhile, the women’s 100 fly was won by the Netherlands’ Inge Dekker in 59.26, slightly quicker than the 59.29 of Martina Moravcova (Slovakia).
Great Britain received first-place outings from David Davies and Chris Cook. Davies topped the competition in the 1500 freestyle (15:08.51) and Cook was the winner of the 100 breaststroke, as he touched the wall in 1:01.76. Beata Kaminska (Poland) won the female 100 breast in 1:10.09.
Other victors included Russia’s Stanislava Komarova in the women’s 100 back (1:02.56), China’s Liu Jing in the women’s 400 I.M. (4:46.18), Russia’s Arkady Vyatchanin in the men’s 100 back (55.49) and Russia’s Andrey Kapralov in the men’s 100 free (49.58).