OSTROWIEC SWIETZKRZYSKS, Poland, June 7. SHE'S not just a flyer anymore.
That's the inescapable conclusion as the three-day Polish Nationals and Olympic Trials ended yesterday in Ostrowiec Swietzkrzysks, Poland.
The "she," of course, is Otylia Jedrzejczak, world record-holder and world champion in the 200 fly, whom we will refer to as "Otylia" from now on.
Otylia won four individual events over the weekend, all in world-class times, as she established herself as a genuine multi-medal threat for Athens.
The Polish ace took the fly events with strong swims — 58.63 in the 100 (28.09 split), to outdistance 17 year-old Aleksandra Urbanczyk, 1:00.43; and 2:08.49 in the 200 (1:02.30 – 1:06.19). The 100 swim ranks her sixth globally, while she swam a faster 2:06.47 in the 200 to win the European Championships last month, a time that ranks her second in the world behind Australia's Petria Thomas's 2:06.01.
It was in the middle distaance freestyles, though, that Otylia demonstrated just how multi-talented she is. Leading off her AZS AWF Warszawa team's 4x200m free relay, she swam a national record 1:57.58, a time that ranks her second globally for 2004 behind Britain's Melanie Marshall, who has a 1:57.51 to her credit.
The next day she negative-split her 400 free — out in 2:04.87, back in 2:02.78 — to finish in 4:07.65, just 4-hundredths off Sachiko Yamada's world-leading time. The swim smashed her own national record of 4:09.114 set earlier this year.
Pawe Kirzeniowski also had an outstanding meet. The 19 year-old flyer clocked 1:56.27 in the 200 meter event (56.16 – 1:00.11) to break his own national record of 1:56.89 set earlier this year. The time ranks him fifth globally for 2004.
Kirzeniowski also took the 400 free in 3:50.15.
Three other swimmers had notable performances:
* Paulina Barzycka, 18, won the 100 and 200 freestyla combo. She set a national standard of 55.41 in the 100, eclipsing Otylia's 2002 mark of 55.73; and she took the 200 in 1:59.55.
* Aleksandra Urbanczyk, 17, who was second in the 100 fly (1:00.43) and 100 free (56.19).
* Adam Mania, who won the 50 and 100m backstroke sprints in 25.69 and 55.59 seconds, respectively.
Ron Karnaugh, who changed sports nationality from USA to Poland, did not compete due to injury. He'll have a chance to make the Olympic cut of 2:02.54 in the 200 IM at a meet in Austin, Texas in two weeks.