MONTE CARLO, May 20. DUTCH swimmer Inge "Inky" de Bruijn smashed the women's world record in the 50 meter butterfly when she clocked an amazing 25.83 seconds to highlight the first day of competition at in the first of the Mare Nostrum long course meets being held in Monaco on Saturday.
The 27-year-old De Bruijn, who has trained much of the past three years under coach Paul Bergen in Oregon, destroyed the previous best of 26.29 set by Sweden's Anna-Karin Kammerling in Istanbul in July 1999.
Later De Bruijn came back to become only the third woman in history to crack 58 seconds in the 100 meter butterfly when she clocked 57.96, just missing Jenny Thompson's world mark of 57.88 set last August at the Pan Pacific Championships. De Bruijn's swim allowed her to regain the European record for the event, which had been taken from her by Slovakia's Martina Moravcova in March.
De Bruijn was not the only woman swimming fast in Monaco. Hungary's Agnes Kovacs joined the list of sub-1:08 100-meter breaststrokers when she clocked a Hungarian record 1:07.92. The time ranks her fifth in the world this year behind Japan's Masami Tanaka, America's Megan Quann, South Africa's Penny Heyns, the world record holder, and America's Kristy Kowal.
Ukraine's Yana Klochkova easily won the women's 400 meter individual medley in a very strong 4:41.84.
The men's competition produced only a few stellar times. Hungary's Attila Zubor defeated Russia's Alex Popov, the world record-holder in the 100 meter freestyle, 49.74 to 49.95. Ukraine's Denis Silantiev had little difficulty in taking the 200 meter fly in 1:58.82.