Flash! Steffen Downs World Record in 100 Freestyle

BUDAPEST, Hungary, August 2. AFTER helping Germany to a world record in the 400 freestyle relay earlier in the week, Britta Steffen now has an individual global standard to her credit. Competing at the European Championships, Steffen clocked a time of 53.30 to take top honors in the 100-meter freestyle. Steffen broke the former world record of 53.42, held by Australian Libby Lenton.

It wasn’t stunning that Steffen broke the world record as she produced the fastest 100-meter split in history during Germany’s relay, going 52.66. Steffen was smooth during the preliminaries and semifinals of the 100 free and turned the heat on during the final to claim a one-plus second triumph over Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands.

"I can't believe it. It's like when you lose and you can't believe it, either," Steffen said. "I still can't believe I set a new world record."

Women’s 200-meter Backstroke Finals
France’s Esther Baron claimed gold in 2:10.07, well ahead of silver medalist Iryna Amshennikova of Ukraine’s 2:12.13. Meanwhile, Britain’s Melanie Marshall closed out bronze just after with a 2:12.17.

Right after Baron got out of the water, she started to cry and all she could say was "I am too happy to talk."

Women’s 800-meter Freestyle Finals
France’s Laure Manadou rocketed to a European record of 8:19.29 without much competition. Her time erased a 19-year-old standard of 8:19.53 previously held by Anke Moehring.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Rebecca Arlington picked up silver in 8:27.88, while her countrywoman Rebecca Cooke took bronze in 8:28.40.

Men’s 200-meter Breaststroke Semifinals
Italy swept the top-two qualifying spots in the men’s 200 breast as Loris Facci stopped the clock in 2:12.01, while countryman Paolo Bossini touched in 2:12.33. Meanwhile, Poland’s Slawomir Kuczko pocketed third in 2:12.63.

Women’s 200-meter IM Semifinals
Only 28 minutes after winning the 800 free, Manadou kept the momentum going with a first-place qualifying time of 2:13.15 in the 200 IM. Poland’s Katarzyna Baranowska placed second in 2:13.68, while Ukrainian Yana Klochkova earned third in 2:14.53.

Men’s 200-meter Freestyle Finals
Pieter Van den Hoogenband continued his comeback from hernia surgery by capturing the 200 free crown in 1:45.65. Meanwhile, Italians Massimiliano Rosolino (1:47.02) and Filippo Magnini (1:47.57) picked up silver and bronze, respectively.

"I tried to win and I am so happy to be back after my operation," Van den Hoogenband said. "This a very good time and I will try to make my third Olympic attempt in Beijing and then I will retire".

Women’s 100-meter Breaststroke Finals
Ukraine’s Ganna Khlystunova erased the meet record in the event with a 1:07.55 to capture gold. That effort surpassed Sweden’s Emma Igelstrom’s 1:07.87 set in Berlin during the 2002 meet.

"It is my first major event," Khlystunova said. "To win with a CR is simply great."

Meanwhile, Britain’s Kirsty Balfour took silver in 1:07.95, while Hungary’s Agnes Kovacs picked up bronze in 1:08.60 in front of a hometown crowd.

"My goal was to win a medal in front of a home crowd," Kovacs said. "Right now, I am happier than when I won the Olympic gold."

Men’s 200-meter Butterfly Semifinals
Poland’s Pawel Korzeniowski touched with the fastest qualifying time of 1:56.13, while Romanian Ioan Gherghel took second in 1:56.93. Meanwhile, Greek Ionnis Drymonakos pocketed third in 1:56.99.

Women’s 100-meter Freestyle Finals
After helping Germany to a world record in the 400 freestyle relay earlier in the week, Britta Steffen now has an individual global standard to her credit. Competing at the European Championships, Steffen clocked a time of 53.30 to take top honors in the 100-meter freestyle. Steffen broke the former world record of 53.42, held by Australian Libby Lenton.

It wasn’t stunning that Steffen broke the world record as she produced the fastest 100-meter split in history during Germany’s relay, going 52.66. Steffen was smooth during the preliminaries and semifinals of the 100 free and turned the heat on during the final to claim a one-plus second triumph over Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands.

Meanwhile, Veldhuis picked up silver in 54.32, while Greek Nery-Madey Niangkouara took bronze in 54.48.

Men’s 200-meter IM Finals
In front of a home crown, Laszlo Cseh blistered to a meet-record time of 1:58.17. His effort erased Finland’s Jani Sievinen’s meet-record time of 1:58.61 set in Austria in 1995. Italy’s Alessio Boggiatto captured silver in 2:00.14, while Hungary’s Tamas Kerekjarto garnered bronze in 2:00.17.

"I realy missed Phelps, I did not have any competition," Cseh said. "I would definitely have swam faster if someone like Michael would have joined me. I am not tired at all, and I feel very confident before the 400 IM. I will try to swim fast again, hopefully I will break the ER."

Notably, Cseh's 50-meter and 100-meter marks went under world-record pace, but he could not keep that effort up.

Women’s 100-meter Backstroke Semifinals
After witnessing their counterpart Steffan break a world record, a pair of Germans went one-two in the 100 back semifinals. Janine Pietsch touched first in 1:01.34, while Antje Buschschulte earned second in the 1:01.47. Ukraine’s Iryna Amshennikova rounded out the top three in 1:01.62.

Men’s 50-meter Backstroke Semifinals
Greek Aristeidis Grigoriadis took the top-qualifying time in the 50 back with a 25.32, while Britain’s Matthew Clay touched second in 25.42. Meanwhile, German Helge Meeuw clocked a third-place 25.46.

Norbert Agh contributed to this report.

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Author: Archive Team

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