By Stephen J. Thomas
SYDNEY, June 18. OLYMPIC champ and world record-holder Lenny Krayzelberg showed a pleasing return to form with a good win in his signature 100 meter backstroke clocking 55.28 at the Janet Evans Invitational in Long Beach this past weekend.
However, perhaps an even better omen for the popular 28-year-old for next month's US Olympic Trials is that he was a winner the very same weekend — in Melbourne, Australia!
It has been in the land Down Under that Krayzelberg has enjoyed his greatest swimming triumphs to date – a World Championships dorsal double in Perth in '98; three world records in Sydney at Pan Pacs in '99; and, of course, triple gold at the Sydney Olympics.
'Krayzelburg,' a race horse named after the Novaquatics star, landed his first city win in the Sydney Entertainment Centre Trophy (1600m) race in Melbourne last weekend.
The four-year-old gelding (sorry, Lenny) is raced by Atlanta Olympic fly silver medalist Scott Miller and a group of leading swim coaches including Scott Volkers, Greg Salter, Denis Cotterell and Brian Sutton.
Jockey Malcolm Pay made the most of his one mount at the meeting on Krayzelburg (at 9-2) who settled back in eighth place before taking off and reaching the lead on the home turn and held on to score by 1-1/4 lengths.
When informed of the story, Lenny K (the swimmer) told SwimInfo that he was pleased to hear people were still thinking of him in Australia.
Interestingly, there are also race horses in Australia named for Gary Hall, Jr., and Gary Hall, Sr. It seems that, Down Under, you've really arrived when a horse has been named for you.