Salnikov Cup: Nikita Lobintsev Posts Quick 200 Freestyle

SAINT PETERSBURG, Russia, December 29. NIKITA Lobintsev and Aleksandra Gerasimenya were awarded the male and female tournament trophies today at the conclusion of short course meters racing at the fourth annual Salnikov Cup.

Lobintsev, who was part of Russia's world record-setting 800 freestyle relay at the short course world championships in Dubai less than two weeks ago, had the top male performance of the meet with his 1:43.08 in the 200 freestyle today. His winning time is a second slower than the time he swam in Dubai to earn fourth place. Finishing second today in the 200 free was Poland's Pavel Korzeniovski with a 1:45.28, and in third was Russia's Artem Lobuzov with a 1:45.71.

Gerasimenya, from Belarus, earned her trophy with the sizzling 26.61 in the 50 back yesterday. She won the 100 freestyle today in 52.95 over Inge Dekker of the Netherlands (53.71) and Amy Smith of England (53.98). Gerasimenya's time puts her 14th in the world.

Today's spotlight competition was the men's 1500 freestyle, the event in which event founder Vladimir Salnikov won the Olympic gold medal in 1980 and 1988. In 1980, he became the first man to break the 15-minute barrier in the long course version of the event. The Salnikov Cup version of the 1500 free featured a unique elimination strategy, in which the slowest swimmer would be eliminated every 100 meters, beginning at the 1000-meter mark. Touching the wall first was Russia's Alexander Shimmin with a 14:59.28, the only swim under 15 minutes. In second place was Uladzimir Zhyharau of Belarus with a 15:02.75 and third place went to Russia's Artem Podyakov with a 15:05.31.

Yulia Efimova of Russia won the women's 50 breaststroke in 30.50. The silver medal went to Denmark's Rikke Pedersen with a 31.20, and rounding out the podium was Russia's Catherine Baklakova with a 31.51.

Stanislav Lahtyuhov of Russia won the men's 100 breast in 58.57, with second place awarded to Andrei Kovalenko of the Ukraine with a 59.01. Third place went to Grigory Falko of Russia with a 59.28.

The women's 400 IM featured an all-Russia final, with Jan Martynov winning the event in 4:37.35. Second place went to Christina Kochetkova with a 4:41.30 and third was awarded to Anna Markova with a 4:42.28.

Joe Roebuck of England won the men's 100 fly in 51.72 over South Africa's Lyndon Ferns, who touched second in 52.30. Russia's Vladislav Grey was third in 52.69.

The women's 100 back was won by Russia's Maria Gromov with a 59.33. Margarita Nesterova just missed out on a sub-minute swim with a 1:00.00 for second place. The bronze medal went to Aleksandra Kovalev with a 1:01.13.

Vitaly Borisov just edged out Randall Bal of the USA for the gold in the 50 back, 23.58 to 23.70. Third place went to Russia's Sergey Makov with a 24.14.

Kim Vandenberg of the USA won the women's 200 fly with a 2:07.48. Notably, the time is just five-tenths slower than her prelim swim in the event at the short course world championships two weeks ago. Touching second in the 200 fly was Russia's Veronika Popova with a 2:07.99, and finishing third was Russia's Anastasia Lyazeva with a 2:08.17.

Elena Sokolova of Russia battled Demark's Lotte Friis in the women's 400 freestyle, with Sokolova getting to the finish first in 4:04.88. Friis was second with a 4:04.98. Well back in third was Russia's Anastasia Ivanenko with a 4.07.50.
Andrey Bovorov of Ukraine won the men's 50 freestyle in 21.77. Vitaly Sitnikov of Russia was second in 22.11. Third place went to Evgeny Lagunov with a 22.28.

Pedersen returned to win the women's 200 breast in 2:22.19 over Russia's Natalia Geraskina, who finished second in 2:26.16. Russia's Vera Kalashnikova rounded out the podium with a third-place time of 2:27.33.

The women's 100 IM featured a first-place tie between Russia's Olga Klyuchnikova and Belarus' Svetlana Khokhlova. Both touched in 1:00.61. Third place went to Daria Beljakin with a 1:01.01.

South Africa's George du Rand won the men's 200 backstroke with a 1:54.10, with second going to Russia's Anton Anchin in 1:55.03. Third place went to Dmitry Gorbunov with a 1:55.22.

The Netherlands had a 1-2 finish in the women's 50 butterfly, with Dekker winning in 25.97 and Hinkelien Schreuder getting second in 26.18. Third place went to Russia's Svetlana Fedulova with a 26.65.

The meet's final event, the men's 400 freestyle relay, went to the All-Russian team of Vladimir Biryukov, Evgeny Lagunov, Sergey Fesikov and Lobintsev with a 3:11.50. Second place went to the mixed international team of Randall Bal (USA), Gerhard Zandberg (South Africa), Christian Kubusch (Germany) and Ferns (South Africa) with a 3:12.69. In third was the Saint Petersburg team of Evgeny Ayzetulov, Oleg Tihobaev, Ivan Ogalev and Vladislav Ceriy with a 3:17.11.

Day two results

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