USTER, Switzerland. DOUBLE Olympic champion Yana Klochkova, of Ukraine, was a triple winner at the Uster International Invitational Swim Meet in scenic Uster, Switzerland. The short course meet was held January 27-28, the same dates as the FINA World Cup X meet in Paris.
Klochkova won both medleys–her specialties–but it wasn't easy. On Saturday, the Ukrainian star edged American Amy Balcerzak to win the 200m IM in 2:14.16, with the U.S. ace second in a lifetime best 2:14.95, despite being in the midst of heavy training.
Klochkova came back the next day to win the 400IM in 4:44.41, two seconds ahead of Canada's Liz Warden (4:46.80). The 200m back featured the same two swimmers, with the Ukrainian again coming out on top in 2:13.29 with Warden following in 2:13.99. In the 100 back, Klochkova could only manage a fourth place finish.
Psyched by her second place finish in the 200 IM, Balcerzak swam to victories in both the 100 and 200 meter breaststroke. She took the shorter race in 1:07.55, two-and-a-half seconds ahead of Austria's Vera Lischke, and the 200 meters in 2:28.83.
Russia's Andrei Kapralov set a meet record in the 100 meter freestyle as he swept the 100, 200 and 400 meter events. The 20 year-old St. Petersburg star swam 48.66 to win the century, and added victories in the 200m (1:48.30) and 400m (3:51.88).
Hometown hero Remo Lutolf provided the meet highlight for the local crowd when the Uster Swim Club star clocked 1:01.32 to win the men's 100m breaststroke. Lutolf, however, wasn't the only Swiss to win an event.
The meet's most exciting event was the men's 400m IM, and it came down to a stroke-for-stroke battle between two Swiss. At the end it was 19 year-old Luka Gabrilo of Atlantide, who touched first in 4:19.17, one-hundredth of a second ahead of Yves Platel, 23, of Geneva.
Another Swiss, Dominique Diezi, set a meet record of 1:01.98 in winning the 100m back, while Olympian Chantal Strasser had no trouble in taking the 400m free in 4:09.99. Strasser's younger brother, Gerry, 17, set a Swiss national record hen he finished second behind Kapralov in the men's 400 meters in 3:52.62.
Other meet records were set by Italy's Massi Eroli in the 200 meter fly (1:57.45) and Hungary's Peter Horvath in the 100 meter back. Horvath's 53.61 was also a Hungarian national record.
Swedish world record-holder, Therese Alshammar, breezed to wins in the women's 50 (24.77) and 100 meter freestyle (54.14).