BATH, ENGLAND, Dec. 7 — YOU can call Sarah Price a "monopolist" and she'll quite glady accept the appelation.
The 21-year-old British backstroker specialist, who saw her world short course meters 200 record splash beneath the waves of the Goodwill Games Pool on Long Island last week when America's Natalie Coughlin went a 2:03.62 during the World Cup, set a British record in the 200 back long course here this evening during the initial day of the Speedo British Grand Prix.
Her time was 2:10.97, breaking the old British record of 2:11.04 by Joanne Fargus from last summer's Scotish Championships in Glasgow the third weekend of June.
Fargus also was under her old standrad with a pr 2:10.99.
The Commonwealth record is 2:10.20 by Australia's now-retired Nicole Stevenson-Livingstone from the Barcelona Olympics nearly a decade ago.
Price now holds all six British recods in the backstroke (scm, lcm) and that 2:10.97 vaults her into fourth and fifth, respectively, on the yearly
performers-performances' ranking list. Fargus is now fifth and sixth.
Price's old pr in the 200 was a 2:11.90, also from Glasgow.
The times of the British dorsal specialists are impressive considering they're both really pointing for next weekend's European SC Championships in
Antwerp, where Price is hopeful of getting not her old wr back from Coughlin in the 200 but perhaps becoming the first woman ever under 2:00.0.
Price's 100 pr (lc) is 1:01.32 from the British World Championships Trials in Manchester during April, site for next summer's Commonwealth Games. That time ranks her fifth and 11th on the yearly lists.
Both Price and Fargus were Sydney Olympians, and they battled for 200 supremecy here this evening throughout the race's four laps. On the final 50 Fargus closed the gap noticeably but Price "hung tough" for the win and the record.
"I felt I didn't go out fast enough but that will come next week in Antwerp," Price is quoted on the British Federation website. "I couldn't see Jo because of a problem with my goggles but I just concentrated on my
own race. It was a sweet victory as this was the only British record I didn't have. My world short-course record is only on loan to Natalie Coughlin. I want it back next week!"
If Price does indeed get it back at Antwerp, Coughlin will have an opportunity to return the favor — with Price porhaps in the same race– at next April's World SC Championships in Moscow.
– Bill Bell