ZAGREB, Croatia, June 21. THE first night of swimming at the Golden Bear meet held in Zagreb featured a European standard in the women's 50 back and a British record in the men's 50 free.
Sanja Jovanovic opened the night on fire when she tied the European record in the women's 50 back with a time of 28.05. Anastasia Zueva holds the now-matched standard with her time from the European Championships in March. Jovanovic downed her Croatian standard of 28.17, which she set twice in successive days at the European Champs. Katy Sexton finished well behind with a second-place 29.72, while Nikolett Szepesi touched third in 29.89.
The close of the night then featured Mark Foster becoming the first man from Great Britain under 22 seconds in the men's 50 free. Foster blazed the splash-and-dash event in 21.96, breaking Simon Burnett's British record of 22.12 from 2005. Duje Draganja placed second in 22.55, while Salim Iles took third in 22.63.
Gordan Kozulj topped the men's 50 back with a time of 25.62, while Guy Barnea took second in 26.04. Robert Konneker finished third with a time of 26.18.
Clare Dawson led teammate Caroline Saxby to a 1-2 finish in the women's 200 free, 2:02.35 to 2:06.08. Anja Trisic clinched third in 2:07.63.
Laszlo Cseh, who posted some strong IM times last weekend at the Mare Nostrum stop held in Canet, France, just missed his Hungarian record in the men's 200 free with a time of 1:49.05. He owns the record with a 1:48.75 from the European Championships in March. Andrew Hunter wound up second in 1:50.71, while Nikolaos Xylouris placed third in 1:51.66.
Janne Schaefer withstood Smiljana Marinovic in the women's 100 breast, winning the race 1:10.21 to 1:10.79. Gabrijela Korac rounded out the top three in 1:16.44.
Brazil's Henrique Barbosa came up shy of his national record in the men's 100 breast with a time of 1:01.04, which also set the meet record. Barbosa holds the national standard with a time of 1:00.79 from May. Great Britain's James Gibson placed second in 1:02.13, while Vanja Rogulj took third in 1:02.28.
Eszter Dara then won the women's 100 fly going away with a time of 59.84. Laure Chase finished second in the event with a 1:03.99, while Monika Babok touched third in 1:04.05.
Mario Todorovic took a run at Draganja's Croatian record in the men's 100 fly, but stopped the clock shy in 53.10. Draganja holds the record with a 52.46 from the 2004 Athens Games. Igor Marchenko placed second in 54.18, while Todd Cooper took third in 54.35.
In another head-to-head battle, Szepesi overtook Carman and Jovanovic in the final 50 of the women's 200 back, 2:12.24 to 2:12.59 and 2:12.65. Heading into the last stretch, Szepesi trailed (1:39.68) both Carman (1:38.89) and Jovanovic (1:39.03), but dropped a 32.56 in the last 50 meters.
In the men's 200 back, Kozulj won in 2:00.52, while Roland Rudolf touched second in 2:01.66. Peter Bernek finished third in 2:07.37.
Chase followed in the women's 200 IM with a triumph when she touched in 2:23.45. Nikolina Sabo grabbed second in 2:29.44, while Meri Cizmar finished third in 2:32.25.
The men's 200 IM title went to Kamil Kasprowicz, who touched in 2:02.20. Ioannis Kokkodis (2:03.07) and Sasa Impric (2:07.00) completed the top three.
Poland's Agata Korc topped the women's 50 free with a time of 25.50, while Sexton finished second in 26.32. Clare Dawson touched third in 27.07.