IN the aftermath of the European Championships in helsinki, and with the Olympic Games only six weeks away, none of Europe's top swimmers is resting for any meets. Nonetheless, a bevy of strong performances by swimmers from several countries have been turned in in recent days.
At the Vittel Cup 2000 held last weekend in Millau, France, Holland's Piter van den Hoogenband and France's Franck Esposito led the way, each with twin wins.
Hoogie won the 100 free in a very strong 48.80, ahead of Algeria's Salim Iles (49.72), then took the 200 in 1:48.72. Esposito cruised to wins in the 100 and 200 fly, clocking 53.32 and 1:56.58. France's Xavier Marchand took the 200 IM in 2:03.90, besting Holland's Marcel Wouda.
The women's competition was less spectacular but still strong. South Africa's Sarah Poewe won the 100 breast in 1:09.43 while Poland's 30-year-old Alicja Peczak took the 200 in 2:30.50. Newly-minted Polish star Otylia Jedrzejczak took the 100 fly in 59.92.
At the Sedish Nationals in Landskrona, July 20-23, Martin Gustavsson stroked a Swedish national record of 2:15.50 to win the 200m breaststroke. Lars Frolander took the 100 free (49.80) and 100 fly (53.77). Therese Alshammar cruised the women's 50 free in 25.23.
The Scottish Championships, held July 6-9 in Glasgow, during the Europeans, saw some outstanding performances. Alison Sheppard won the women's 50 free in 25.37 after setting a national record of 25.31 in prelims–a time taht would have placed her second in Helsinki. She also won the 100 free in 56.45.
Claire Huddart, second in the 100 (56.57), won the 200 in 2:01.31. Vicki Horner took the 800 in 8:44.62.
Helen Don-Duncan swam a very strong 200 back, touching in 2:13.08. She also won the 100 (1:03.75).
The men's competition was not nearly as strong, but Graeme Smith turned in a noteworthy performance in winning the 1500m free in 15:26.82.