BY Stephen J. Thomas
MELBOURNE, November 29. AUSSIE 18-year-old Leisel Jones smashed the 200 breaststroke world mark held by China’s Qi Hui by 1.11 seconds and took almost three seconds off her own PR to hit the pads in 2:17.75, adding to the 100 breaststroke world standard she claimed last night. The record swim was the highlight of the second night of competition of the FINA World Cup meet at the Melbourne Aquatic Centre.
Jones' splits tonight compared with the previous record were:
50m: 31.73 (-0.09)
100m: 1:07.11 (+0.27)
150m: 1:42.77 (-0.02)
200m: 2:17.75 (-1.11)
Jones said after her race, "I went into this meet with plenty of hard work behind me and feeling very relaxed. I actually slowed down coming into the 100 as I thought I must have been going too fast because I was so far ahead. Then I heard the crowd noise in the last 50 and thought either Amanda (Beard) was catching up or I was close to the world record."
Michael Phelps made it four wins in two nights when he added the 200 meter backstroke and 200 IM to his collection. The 18-year-old superstar of men’s swimming clocked the second fastest short course 200 backstroke and the third fastest 200IM swims all-time.
The events on the second night of finals went like this:
Women’s 400m Freestyle:
Friendships were put aside when world record-holder, American Lindsay Benko, and Aussie record-holder Elka Graham went head-to-head, exchanging the lead several times during the race before Benko, who turned twenty-seven today, got to the wall just 0.04 seconds ahead of her younger rival in 4:02.29. Current Aussie champ Kasey Giteau took third in a PR 4:07.21.
Women’s 100m Butterfly:
Aussie record-holder Petria Thomas continued to perform above expectations in her first meet back from shoulder surgery when she clocked a swift 57.27 to hold off her teenage teammates Jessica Schipper (58.33) and Libby Lenton (58.42).
Women’s 100m Backstroke:
Japan’s Mai Nakamura took a close fought race from Aussie Giaan Rooney and Kiwi Hannah McLean. Nakamura clocked 59.15 while Rooney broke Dyana Calub’s national record, touching in 59.20. McLean also went under the minute in 59.86.
Women’s 200m Breaststroke:
The medals went the same as they did in the 4-lap race with the new world record-holder Aussie Leisel Jones (2:17.75) well in advance of fellow Aussie Brooke Hanson (PR 2:22.03). World Champs gold medalist Amanda Beard, the co-world record-holder in this event long course, was third in 2:22.33.
Women’s 50m Freestyle:
Aussie Libby Lenton lowered her own national record by 0.31 seconds to touch the pads in 24.19, well ahead of Swede Anna-Karin Kammerling (24.95) and former Aussie champion Michelle Engelsman (25.01).
Women’s 100m IM:
Just a short while after taking second in the 200 breaststroke, Aussie Brooke Hanson set a new national and Commonwealth record, clocking 1:00.47, in advance of American Gabby Rose (1:00.86) and former national record-holder Lori Munz (PR 1:01.29).
Men’s 50m Butterfly:
Aussie world-record holder Geoff Huegill beat the man who took his long-course world mark in Barcelona, teammate Matt Welsh in a tight finish. Huegill touched in 23.46 just 0.04 seconds in front of Welsh with another Aussie, Josh Taylor, third just 0.01 seconds behind in 23.51.
Men’s 200m Backstroke:
American Michael Phelps set a new World Cup record of 1:51.40 when he gained the advantage over Aussie champ Matt Welsh at the 150-mark and powered away to clock the second fastest swim in history, not far short of countryman Aaron Peirsol’s global standard of 1:51.17. Welsh was not far off his best to take second in 1:52.18 from German Sebastian Halgasch in 1:54.88.
Men’s 100m Breaststroke:
Aussie Brenton Rickard took his second national breaststroke record in two days when he broke the ten-year-old mark record held by Phil Rogers in a time of 59.00. Rickard took the money from Aussie James Beasley (59.54) and world record-holder, American Ed Moses (59.86).
Men’s 200m Freestyle:
In the absence of world record-holder Ian Thorpe, Queensland teenager Nick Sprenger took the gold in a PR 1:46.06 from another Aussie, Anthony Matkovich (1:46.57), who just out-touched 400 free winner, Frenchman Nicolas Rostoucher (1:46.58)
Men’s 200m IM:
American Michael Phelps swam the third fastest time in history (1:54.85) to sit just 0.20 seconds behind joint world record-holders Jani Sievinen and Atilla Czene in the history book. Phelps was just over one second under world record pace after the fly and back legs but dropped half-a-second behind after the breaststroke. He beat fellow American Kevin Clements, who swam a PR 1:56.71, while New Zealander Dean Kent was third (1:57.14).