Olympic Prelims: Day Two

By Phillip Whitten & Michael Collins

Women's 100 Back Prelims

Top 16 advancing to Semi-Finals:

1. Nakamura JPN 1:00.88
2. Mocanu ROM 1:01.18
3. Maracineanu FRA 1:01.66
4. Bedford USA 1:01.70
5. Zhivanevskaya ESP 1:01.97
6. Ornstedt DEN 1:01.98
7. Zhan CHN 1:02.19
7. Inada JPN 1:02.19

9. Buschschulte GER 1:02.23
10. Calub AUS 1:02.46
11. Sexton GBR 1:02.67
12. Stefanyshyn CAN 1:02.78
13. Voelker GER 1:02.88
14. Lischinsky CAN 1:02.89
15. Lu CHN 1:02.91
16. Coventry ZIM 1:03.05

Japan's Mai Nakamura was out well under world record pace when she turned at 29.21, but cruised homed to qualify first in 1:00.88. Sixteen year-old Diana Mocanu of Romania swam a strong second lap to qualify second in 1:01.18.

The USA's BJ Bedford looked good leading her heat until the finish, when Roxanna Maracineanu of France out-touched her by .04. Maracineanu is the defending world champions in the 200 Back, and looks to be a threat here in the 100 as well.

Courtney Shealy of the USA failed to make the semi-finals when she finished in 18th place in 1:03.19.

Men's 200 Free Prelims

Top 16 advancing to Semi-Finals:

1. Thorpe AUS 1:46.56 OLYMPIC RECORD
2. Hoogenband NED 1:46.71
3. Rosolino ITA 1:47.37
4. Josh Davis USA 1:48.43
5. Rick Say CAN 1:48.62
6. James Salter GBR 1:48.77
7. Koleda BLR 1:49.01
8. Goldblatt USA 1:49.05

9. Hackett AUS 1:49.23
10. Arnarson ISL 1:49.78
11. Palmer GBR 1:49.83
12. Herbst GER 1:49.84
13. Kapralov RUS 1:49.92
14. Pohl GER 1:50.07
15. Szabados HUN 1:50.10
16. Zubor HUN 1:50.11

Ian Thorpe was back in the pool after a big night last night, when he broke world records in the 400 meter freestyle and anchoring Australia's 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay–the first time the US has ever lost the event in Olympic competition.

The 17 year-old national hero picked up where he left off, to the enormous enjoyment of the sell-out crowd. The Thorpedo set a new Olympic record in the 200 free, but qualified just 15-hundredths of a second ahead of Holland's Pieter van den Hoogenband. Italy's Massi Rosolino also looked very good in qualifying third.

Josh Davis, co-captain of the US team, won his heat in a strong 1:48.43, while Scott Goldblatt qualified 8th in 1:49.05. Goldblatt will need to improve on that to make the final, with Grant Hackett seeded 9th in 1:49.23.

Women's 100 Breast Prelims

Top 16 advancing to Semi-Finals:

1. Quann USA 1:07.48
2. Heyns RSA 1:07.85
3. Jones AUS 1:07.92
4. Poewe RSA 1:08.06
5. White AUS 1:08.35
6. Kovacs HUN 1:08.50
7. Tanaka JPN 1:09.12
8. Gerasch GER 1:09.31

9. Becue BEL 1:09.38
10. Petelski CAN 1:09.57
11. Bondarenko UKR 1:09.60
12. Leier CAN 1:09.68
13. Qi CHN 1:09.88
14. Karn GER 1:09.94
15. Kejzar SLO 1:10.44
16. Baans NED 1:10.47

18. Stitts USA 1:10.54

The USA's Megan Quann had the fastest prelim time in the women's 100 meter breaststroke, although defending Olympic champion and world record-holder, Penny Heyns, was out faster at the 50. Another South African, Sarah Poewe, had a great swim to qualify fourth.

The Aussie women looked good, both swimming personal bests. Leisel Jones, who just turned 15, was third fastest qualifier in 1:07.92, while Tarnee White was fifth in 1:08.35.

European record-holder, Agnes Kovacs, was sixth. Japan's Masami Tanaka, short course world record-holder in this event, was seventh, while 31 year-old Sylvia Gerasch, a product of the old East German system, ws eighth qualifier.

Stacianna Stitts, the second American, had a very slow start and never picked her race up, finishing eighteenth in 1:10.54, almost three seconds slower than her second place time at the US Olympic Trials last month.

Men's 100 Back Prelims

Top 16 advancing to Semi-Finals:

1. Krayzelburg USA 54.38
2. Welsh AUS 54.70
3. Theloke GER 55.00
4. Watson AUS 55.09
5. Kizierowski POL 55.14
6. Walker USA 55.34
7. Driesen GER 55.39
8. Kozulj CRO 55.43

9. Urbach ISR 55.44
10. Massura BRA 55.58
11. Falcon CUB 55.61
12. Ortega ESP 55.80
13. Horvath HUN 55.81
14. Renaud CAN 55.85
15. Dufour FRA 56.01
16. Ruckwood GBR 56.19

A relaxed Lenny Krayzelburg easily qualified first in the 100 meter backstroke, swimming with a conventional swim suit and no cap–the same strategy he used in the US Trials. Aussie hope, Matt Welch, was second in 54.70, the only other sub-55 second swim. Germany's Stev Theloke, who swam in the mid 54s two years ago, was third in 55.00, while the second Aussie, Josh Watson, was fourth in 55.09.

Po;land's Bart Kizierowski, better known as a sprint freestyler, was fifth (55.140, while the USA's Neil Walker was sixth (55.34). The second German, Steffan Driesen was seventh while Croatia's Gordan Kozulj, a very strong 200 meter backstroker, was eighth in 55.43.

Women's 400 Free Prelims

Top 8 advancing to Finals:

1. Bennett USA 4:07.57
2. Poll CRC 4:09.33
3. Atkinson JAM 4:09.61
4. Munz USA 4:10.39
5. Chen CHN 4:10.56
6. Tchemezova RUS 4:10.76
6. Stockbauer GER 4:10.76
8. Geurts NED 4:10.86

America's Brooke Bennett swam comfortably ahead of the field to qualify first in the women's 400 free in 4:07.57. Costa Rica's Claudia Poll, a 200 meter specialist, was second (4:09.33), while Janelle Atkinson became the first Jamaican ever to make an Olympic swimming final when she qualified third (4:09.61). The top three qualifiers all swam in the same heat.

The USA's Diana Munz won her heatin 4:10.39, while China's Chen Yan smoked her heat from lane one. Chen, who qualified fifth (4:10.56), swam a 4:05.00 two years ago. Russia's Nadia Tchemezova, who made her international debut at the 1998 Goodwill Games, was stied for sixth with Germany's Hannah Stockbauer, who entered the meet with the world's fastest time this year (4:05.65). Stockbauer, however, did not look impressive today. Dutch veteran Carla Guerts was the final qualifier.

Tonight's final should be a thriller.

Men's 400 IM Prelims

Top 8 advancing to Finals:

1. Boggiatto ITA 4:14.26
2. Dolan USA 4:15.52
3. Myden CAN 4:16.55
4. Badita ROM 4:17.11
5. Vendt USA 4:17.15
6. Taniguchi JPN 4:17.36
7. Norris AUS 4:17.36
8. Parkin RSA 4:18.14

The fastest men's 400 IM field in history will tangle tonight, as the USA's Tom Dolan looks to repeat as Olympic champion and better his world record (4:12.30) set in 1994.

Dolan qualified with the second fastest time, 4:15.52, behind Italy's Alessio Boggiatto (4;14.26), but visibly turned it off in the freestyle. Boggiatto, however, has a few plans of his own, as the Italians are swimming better than ever before. Canada's Curtis Myden (4:16.55) should also be in the fray.

Romania's Cezar Badita was fourth fastest in 4:17.11, just ahead of the USA's Erik Vendt (4:17.15). Badita's presence in the race seems strange, as FINA announced only last month that the Romanian had tested positive for the steroid nandralone and was banned from competition for four years. Swimming World/swiminfo is checking on Badita's questionable status.

Japan's Tanaguchi, Australian newcomer Norris and South Africa's Parkin round out the field. It is one of the few fields where every finalist has a legitimate chance to win a medal.

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