By Craig Lord
ANTWERP, BELGIUM, Dec 13. EMMA Igelstrom, of Sweden, made swimming history on the first day of the
European short-course championships when she equaled the world record over 50 metres breaststroke, in 30.56sec, to join China's Xue Luo and Wei Li.
The Swede's effort made this the first occasion on which a world swimming record has been held by three people at the same time.
The 21-year old student from Karlshamm retained her short-course European crown comfortably, though Janne Schafer, of Germany, was close enough to make it a race, taking the silver medal in 30.92sec.
The only other world standards to be set came in the 4x50m medley relay, an event that is swum nowhere else in the world on an official basis and thus must only count as a "world best tume." Germany established the world best at 1:35.14 in the morning heats. They lowered that to 1:34.78 in the finals – Stev Theloke (24.36), Mark Warneke (26.47), Thomas Rupprath
(22.62), Carsten Dehmlow (21.33) – with Great Britain second in 1:35.19.
The British team lowered their own national record to finish second in the final in 1:35.19 while Sweden was third in 1:35.68.
Ilona Hlavackova, the reigning 100m backstroke champion from the Czech Republic, shaved 0.07sec off the absent Sandra Voelker's European record to enter today's final as fastest qualifier in 58.59. The final promises much, in that Britain's Sarah Price, fresh from losing her 200m world record to America's Nathalie Coughlin, set a Commonwealth record of 58.77 just behind her Czech rival.
There was a second Commonwealth record later in the session when Britain's James Gibson clocked 59.02 in the semi-finals of the 100m breaststroke.
Stefan Nystrand, of Sweden, came close to joining teammate Igelstrom in the record books when he retained the 50m freestyle title in 21.15 seconds, just
0.02sec outside the world record held by Britain's Mark Foster. Foster was fourth, in 21.66 in Antwerp after almost missing the race.
For a man supposed to be setting an example to the juniors brought to Antwerp by Britain's director Bill Sweetenham to learn the ropes, Foster looked more like a man on the ropes as he stumbled on to the poolside one arm in bodysuit the other out, goggles in hand and no race cap in sight. The announcer had got more than half way down the list of the eight finalists before Foster reached his blocks somewhat panic-striken.
World record holder and a winner of the European short-course crown in the three years previous to his defeat by Swede Stefan Nystrand in Spain last year, Foster had looked the part to take back his crown when he
clocked 21.59 in the semi-final that followed Nystrand's 21.31 victory in the first semi. The Swede's time equaled Foster's championship record but was shy of the British sprinter's 21.13 world record. The race was surely on.
Drained as he left the blocks, Foster stayed level with Nystrand until the turn before fading on the second length to finish only fourth in 21.66 behind Olexandr Volinets, of Ukraine, at 21.60 and Pieter van
den Hoogenband, the Dutch Olympic 100 and 200m champion, at 21.65.
Foster admitted: "I misread the start sheet. I thought there were two medal ceremonies before my race, not just one. I was looking at Sunday's sheet by mistake," said a sorry Foster. "I was sitting out the back when I
suddenly realised that they were reading 'Hoogenband, lane 3'." Asked if it had lost him the race, Foster said it had "probably cost me the silver but I don't think I'm in the shape to beat him (Nystrand) on that
World and Olympic champion Yana Klochkova of Ukraine retained her 200 meter individual medley title in a time of 2:09.52, but it did not come easy as the 19 year-old Klochkova was was trailing Nicole Hetzer of Germany until the final length. But her power in the freestyle proved decisive and she overtook her rival with just 20 meters to go. Hetzer finished in 2:09.70 while Alenka Kejzar of Slovenia (and SMU) was third more than a second back in 2:10.82.
The championship record also fell in the men's 200 meter individual medley when Slovenia's Peter Mankoc won in a time of 1:56.18. World record-holder Jani Sievinen of Finland was a strong second at 1:56.60.
The men's 400 meter freestyle was won by Emiliano Brembilla of Italy in 3:41.27, who beat former East German stalwart, Jorg Hoffman, to the wall.
Co-world record-holder, Gordan Kozulj of Croatia, won the men's 200 backstroke in 1:53.37. Israel's Yoav Gath was second (1:54.15), as less than half a second separated the next six finishers.
European Short Course Swimming Championships
DAY ONE: December 13, 2001
25 meter pool
Men's 400 metres freestyle
1. Emiliano Brembilla (ITA) 3:41.27
2. Jorg Hoffmann (GER) 3:42.09
3. Jacob Carstensen (DEN) 3:42.28
4. Nicolas Rostoucher (FRA) 3:44.32
5. Spyridon Gianniotis (GRE) 3:45.46
6. Dmitry Koptour (BLR) 3:45.87
7. Stefan Herbst (GER) 3:46.36
8. Kvetoslav Svodoba (CZE) 3:47.29
Men's 200 metres backstroke
1. Gordan Kozulj (CRO) 1:53.37
2. Yoab Gath (ISR) 1:54.15
3. Simon Dufour (FRA) 1:54.21
4. Stev Theloke (GER) 1:54.23
5. Gregor Tait (GBR) 1:54.27
6. Blaz Medvesek (SLO) 1:54.28
7. Jorge Sanchez (ESP) 1:54.63
8. Adam Ruckwood (GBR) 1:55.78
Men's 200 metres individual medley
1. Peter Mankoc (SLO) 1:56.18
2. Jani Sievinen (FIN) 1:56.60
3. Alessio Boggiatto (ITA) 1:57.52
4. Michael Cole (GBR) 1:58.44
5. Lionel Moreau (FRA) 1:58.90
6. Jens Kruppa (GER) 1:59.04
7. Kresimir Cac (CRO) 1:59.13
8. Andrew Bree (IRL) 1:59.19
Men's 50 metres freestyle
1. Stefan Nystrand (SWE) 21.15
2. Olexandr Volinets (UKR) 21.60
3. Pieter van den Hoogenband (NED) 21.65
4. Mark Foster (GBR) 21.66
5. Johan Kenkhuis (NED) 21.74
6. Zsolt Gaspar (HUN) 21.78
7. Duje Draganjan (CRO) 21.94
8. Mildrad Cavic (YUG) 22.26
Men's 4×50 metres medley
1. Germany (Stev Theloke, Mark Warnecke, Thomas Rupprath, Carsten Dehmlow) 1:34.78 WR
2. Britain (Gregor Tait, James Gibson, James Hickman, Mark Foster) 1:35.19
3. Sweden (Jens Pettersson, Patrik Isaksson, Lars Froelander, Stefan Nystrand) 1:35.68
4. Ukraine (Vyacheslav Shyrshov, Oleg Lisogor, Andriy Serdinov, Olexandr Volinets) 1:35.90
5. Finland (Jani Sievinen, Jarno Pihlava, Tero Valimaa, Jere Hard 1:36.55
6. Netherlands (Bastiaan Tamminga, Guido Jansen, Ewout Holst, Johan Kenkhuis) 1:38.36
7. Italy (Luis Alberto Laera, Matteo Cortesi, Christian Galenda, Andrea Beccari) 1:38.79
8. Portugal (Nuno Laurentino, Jose Couto, Ricardo Coxo, Pedro Silva) 1:38.82
Women's 200 metres individual medley
1. Yana Klochkova (UKR) 2:09.52
2. Nicole Hetzer (GER) 2:09.70
3. Alenka Kejzar (SLO) 2:10.82
4. Sara Nordemstam (SWE) 2:11.23
5. Julie Hjorth-Hansen (DEN) 2:11.43
6. Oxana Verevka (RUS ) 2:11.79
7. Sabine Klenz (GER) 2:13.16
8. Sophie De Ronchi (FRA) 2:14.05
Women's 200 metres butterfly
1. Otylia Jedrzejczak (POL) 2:07.95
2. Mette Jacobsen (DEN) 2:08.13
3. Georgina Lee (GBR) 2:08.14
4. Sophia Skou (DEN) 2:08.18
5. Nicola Jackson (GBR) 2:10.01
6. Maria Pelaez (ESP) 2:10.12
7. Ekaterina Vinogradova (RUS) 2:10.81
8. Marcela Kubalcikova (CZE) 2:11.53
Women's 50 metres breaststroke
1. Emma Igelstrom (SWE) 30.56 WR
2. Janne Schafer (GER) 30.92
3. Vera Lischka (AUS) 31.37
4. Majken Thorup (DEN) 31.44
5. Natalia Hissamutdinova (EST) 31.46
6. Agnieszka Braszkiewicz (POL) 31.47
7. Mirna Jukic (AUT) 31.61
8. Simona Drozdova (CZE) 32.19