The Thorpedo Strikes Again–Another Awesome World Record!!

By Craig Lord with Takahisa Ide
FUKUOKA, Japan. July 25. THE Living Legend that is Ian Thorpe continued to grow tonight in Fukuoka after the young Australian clocked an astounding 1:44.06 world record over 200m freestyle to avenge his only Olympic defeat last year.

Pieter van den Hoogenband, the Dutchman who beat him with a 1:45.35sec effort in Sydney, was left a generation behind by Thorpe as he finished a body length back in second on 1:45.81. A distant third, Klete Keller, of the US, clocked a lifetime best 1:47.10, making him the second fastest American ever (behind Josh Davis).

Thorpe said: "I'm happy to do my best. I exceeded my expectations. I enjoy racing in the pool with Pieter – he's a great guy. Its a privilege to be in there with him."

Van den Hoogenband, who held Thorpe's arm aloft at the end of the race as if to say, "the king is dead, long live the king", said: "He was better this time. I wanted to do my best but I didn't."

Thorpe's splits were awesome: 24.81; 51.45; 1:18.26 and 1:44.06, 0.63sec inside his previous best, set on March 26 this year in Hobart.

Van den Hoogenband held a narrow lead in the race through 150 meters, when Thorpe unleashed an otherworldly final 50 meter split of 25.80sec.

Women's 200m breaststroke
Agnes Kovacs, the Olympic champion from Hungary, overcame two Chinese in the closing meters of the race to add the world title to her tally of accolades
in a championship record of 2:24.90. Qi Hui, the world record holder, was second in 2:25.09, and teammate Luo Xuejuan third in 2:25.29.

The USA's Kristy Kowal, the Olympic silver medalist, finished a close but disappointing fifth in 2:25.84.

men's 50m backstroke
Randall Bal, of the US, clocked 25.34sec to win the inaugural 50m backstroke title, with Thomas Rupprath of Germany second in 25.44sec and Matt Welsh, the Australian who won 100m, third in 25.49sec.

Bal, a Stanford sophomore-to-be who emerged this year as a top backstroker, had qualified first in the 100 back semifinals, only to finish fourth in the final. This time, he qualified second, saving his best for the final to earn his first international title.

Women's 100m freestyle
Three years ago in Perth Inge de Bruijn finished last in this final in 56.4. Tonight, the much transformed Dutch sprinter added the world title to the Olympic title she won last year with a 54.18sec victory. Only two Chinese, one of them subsequently suspended for steroid abuse, and an American have ever swum faster.

De Bruijn, having hammered her rivals into oblivion in Sydney last year, was without opposition tonight, her nearest rivals, Katrin Meissner and Sandra Voelker, second and third respectively in 55.07 and 55.11sec.
Meissner's career stretches back to the days of the DDR. The final was without an American for the first time in 28 years of world championship history.

De Bruijn was denied the championship record, however. That is held yet by China's Le Jingyi, who in Rome in 1994 clocked 54.01sec, which remained the world record until a De Bruijn unrecognizable from a previous career, improved the standard.

Within a month of the Rome World Championships seven of the Chinese squad were suspended for steroid abuse, including Lu Bin, second behind Le in the 100m freestyle in 54.15sec.

Women's 4 x 200 meter freestyle relay
The day ended in chaos as teams were disqualified, reinstated and left bewildered amid a bedlam of protest and counter-protest at the end of the last event of the day, the women's 4×200 meter freestyle relay.

Australia touched first but was disqualified for jumping into the pool to celebrate before the last team had finished the race.

The United States, which finished second, was disqualified for a faulty exchange.

Britain, who has never won a global swimming relay title, was announced as winners, as the published official results showed the second U.S. swimmer, Cristina Teuscher, had left her block 0.06 seconds too soon, twice the permitted latitude.

But the Americans questioned the technology and were reinstated and announced as winners before the organizers abandoned the absurd situation and said a final decision would not be made until Thursday.

It was an inappropriately farcical end to a day of great swimming on which Thorpe surpassed himself in excellence and fellow Olympic champions Inge de Bruijn and Agnes Kovacs showed they were still top of the world.


women's 200m backstroke
Olympic champion Diana Mocanu, of Romania, qualified fastest for the final in 2mins 10.59sec. Mocanu played a waiting game until one length to go, when she simply sprinted away from the pack. Fratesi, of Canada,
clocked 2:11.65 to finish second to Mocanu and third into the final. Second fastest was Joanna Fargus, of Britain, in 2mins 11.61sec.

The two US semifnialists, Jamie Reid and Jessica Aveyard, finished 11th and 12th, and will not advance to the final.

Men's 200m breaststroke
The fastest qualifier for the final was Maxim Podoprigora, now racing for Austria, with a best time of 2mins 11.65sec. The fastest man in the world this year, Ed Moses (2mins 10.40sec), of the US, qualified in sixth in 2:13.27, just behind teammate Brendan Hansen at 2:13.13.

Dimitri Komornikov, the European champion from Russia, did not even get to race. He fell in the water at the start but under the new one-start rule imposed at these championships was then not allowed to race.

Ian Edmond, of Britain, did get a swim, but for nothing: he set what would have been a Scottish record of 2mins 12.59sec in the first semi-final only
to find that he had been disqualified for a faulty turn. The time would have qualified him in fourth place for the final of an event in which he had an outside chance of winning a medal.

Edmond, 23, who was too upset to speak immediately after the race, may gain some comfort from the fact that at the 1986 World Championships Britain's Adrian Moorhouse won the final of the 100m breaststroke only to find that he had been disqualified. Two years later he became Olympic champion.

Men's 100m butterfly
Lars Frolander, the Olympic champion over 100m butterfly, set a championship record to qualify fastest for the final of the 100m butterfly in 52.17. His opposition in the final will come from defending champion Michael Klim, of Australia, who clocked 52.50sec tonight.

It took a sub-53 second effort just to make finals, with the USA's Ian Crocker fourth in 52.63.

Fukuoka, Japan
July 25, 2001




1 DE BRUIJN Inge NED 73 54.18
2 MEISSNER Katrin GER 73 55.07
3 VOLKER Sandra GER 74 55.11
4 MORAVCOVA Martina SVK 76 55.12
5 POPTCHENKO Elena BLR 79 55.19
6 XU Yanwei CHN 84 55.38
7 SJOBERG Johanna SWE 78 55.42
8 RYAN Sarah AUS 77 55.53


1 THORPE Ian AUS 82 1:44.06 WR
2 VAN DEN HOOGENBAND Pieter NED 78 1:45.81
3 KELLER Klete USA 82 1:47.10
4 BREMBILLA Emiliano ITA 78 1:47.58
5 KIRBY William AUS 75 1:48.13
6 CARSTENSEN Jacob DEN 78 1:48.86
7 JOHNSTON Mark CAN 79 1:49.39
8 GOLDBLATT Scott USA 79 1:49.54


1 BAL Randall USA 80 25.34
2 RUPPRATH Thomas GER 75 25.44
3 WELSH Matt AUS 76 25.49
4 THELOKE Stev GER 78 25.69
5 SIEMBIDA Mariusz POL 75 25.82
6 JANES Riley CAN 80 25.98
7 WATSON Josh AUS 77 26.05
8 SHYRSHOV Vyacheslav UKR 79 26.40


1 KOVACS Agnes HUN 81 2:24.90 CR
2 QI Hui CHN 85 2:25.09
3 LUO Xuejuan CHN 84 2:25.29
4 JONES Leisel AUS 85 2:25.46
5 KOWAL Kristy USA 78 2:25.84
6 CASLARU Beatrice ROM 75 2:25.92
7 BAKALDINA Olga RUS 85 2:26.83
8 JUKIC Mirna AUT 86 2:27.96 NR



1 PODOPRIGORA Maxim AUT 78 2:11.65
2 KITAJIMA Kosuke JPN 82 2:12.21
3 HARRISON Regan AUS 78 2:12.34
4 FIORAVANTI Domenico ITA 77 2:12.70
5 HANSEN Brendan USA 81 2:13.13
6 MOSES Ed USA 80 2:13.27
7 RUMMOLO Davide ITA 77 2:13.40
8 MALEK Daniel CZE 73 2:13.75

9 KNABE Morgan CAN 81 2:14.11
10 COUTO Jose POR 78 2:15.27
11 GUSTAFSSON Martin SWE 80 2:15.32
12 DUBOSCQ Hugues FRA 2:15.87
13 SVEINSSON Jakob Johann ISL 82 2:16.61
14 OKITA Yoshiaki JPN 78 2:17.02


1 FROLANDER Lars SWE 74 52.17 CR
2 KLIM Michael AUS 77 52.50
3 YAMAMOTO Takashi JPN 78 52.55
4 CROCKER Ian USA 82 52.63
5 MINTENKO Michael CAN 75 52.81
6 HUEGILL Geoff AUS 79 52.91
7 ESPOSITO Franck FRA 52.96
8 KULIKOV Vladislav RUS 71 52.98

9 HARD Jere FIN 78 53.08
10 SYLANTYEV Denys UKR 76 53.17
11 VALIMAA Tero FIN 78 53.19
11 SERDINOV Andriy UKR 82 53.19
13 RUPPRATH Thomas GER 75 53.27
14 MARTCHENKO Igor RUS 75 53.67
15 KEIZER Joris NED 79 53.72
16 OUYANG Kunpeng CHN 82 54.00


1 MOCANU Diana Iuliana ROM 84 2:10.59
2 FARGUS Joanna GBR 82 2:11.61
3 FRATESI Jennifer CAN 84 2:11.65
4 HETZER Nicole GER 79 2:11.69
5 STONEY Clementine AUS 81 2:12.05
6 KOMAROVA Stanislava RUS 86 2:12.11
7 TERAKAWA Aya JPN 84 2:12.47
8 BUSCHSCHULTE Antje GER 78 2:12.78

9 NAKAMURA Reiko JPN 82 2:13.42
10 SEXTON Katy GBR 82 2:14.37
11 REID Jamie USA 83 2:14.57
12 AVEYARD Jessica USA 79 2:14.67
13 ZHAN Shu CHN 85 2:15.31
14 WYCLIFFE Elizabeth CAN 83 2:15.38
15 KOIVISTO Anu FIN 80 2:15.64
16 BRAT Valentina Georgiana ROM 85 2:17.02


1 DE BRUIJN Inge NED 73 26.10
2 ALSHAMMAR Therese SWE 77 26.18
3 KAMMERLING Anna-Karin SWE 80 26.56
4 COUGHLIN Natalie USA 82 26.64
5 THOMAS Petria AUS 75 26.78
6 EGDAL Karen DEN 78 26.87
7 YEDRZEJCZAK Otylia POL 83 27.05
8 RUAN Yi CHN 81 27.10

9 SLAPSAK Urska SLO 72 27.12
10 SHEPPARD Alison GBR 72 27.15
11 ONISHI Junko JPN 74 27.17
12 DESCENZA Mary USA 84 27.18
12 BOROCHOVSKI Vered ISR 84 27.18
14 SOUTIAGUINA Natalia RUS 80 27.46
15 DUFOUR Fabienne BEL 81 27.49
16 POPTCHENKO Elena BLR 79 27.69


1 WILKENS Thomas USA 75 2:00.45
2 BOGGIATTO Alessio ITA 81 2:00.49
3 NORRIS Justin AUS 80 2:01.07
4 BOVELL George TRI 83 2:01.35
5 MIKI Jiro JPN 83 2:01.46
6 ROSOLINO Massimiliano ITA 78 2:01.57
7 MORI Takahiro JPN 80 2:01.67
8 MYDEN Curtis CAN 73 2:01.70

9 JOHNS Brian CAN 82 2:02.45
10 MARGALIS Robert USA 82 2:02.71
11 KENT Dean NZL 78 2:02.85
12 MCGREGOR Grant AUS 78 2:04.00
13 HALIKA Micky ISR 78 2:04.38
14 KOKKODIS Ioannis GRE 81 2:04.79
15 CABELLO Brenton ESP 81 2:05.15
16 MANKOC Peter SLO 78 2:05.20

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