Thiago Pereira Breaks a Mark Spitz Record with Sixth Gold at Pan American Games; Spitz 1967 Pan Ams Retrospective Included

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, July 21. IT isn't every day that a Mark Spitz record falls, especially one set 40 years ago! Today, Brazil's Thiago Pereira did just that when he scored his sixth gold medal to surpass the five Spitz recorded at the 1967 Pan American Games held in Winnipeg.

Pereira knocked off compatriot Henrique Barbosa in the men's 200 breast to accomplish the feat.

Look for a retrospective look at Swimming World Magazine's article on Spitz' run in 1967 in our August 1967 issue at the bottom of this article.

Men's 100 backstroke Semifinals
North Americans ruled the roost in the men's 100 back semifinal round. Canada's Pascal Wollach topped the field with a time of 55.78, while the United States' Randall Bal and Peter Marshall tied for second with matching 56.04s to win the second heat.

Brazil's Thiago Pereira, who is looking to surpass Mark Spitz's record of five gold medals in a single Pan American Games, which he set in 1967 with the quintet in Winnipeg, placed fourth in 56.19. Pereira has already tied the mark with five golds so far this meet.

Other championship finalists were Colombia's Omar Pinzon (56.26), Brazil's Leonardo Guedes (56.37), Barbados' Nicholas Alfred Neckles (56.41) and Canada's Thomas Sacco (56.60).

Women's 200 butterfly Finals
The United States' Kathleen Hersey rocketed up the world rankings with her second Games record in the 200 fly in as many days. She clocked a winning time of 2:07.64 that knocked more than a second off her previous record of 2:08.89.

"I felt good in the water," Hersey said. "The crowd was going crazy and it helped me finish. This is my third medal and it's the most amazing experience I have ever experienced in swimming."

The performance also moved her into fifth in the world this year behind the likes of Jessicah Schipper (2:06.39), Kim Vandenberg (2:06.71), Otylia Jedrzejczak (2:06.90) and Jiao Liuyang (2:07.22). Each of those times were set at the World Championships in Melbourne this year.

Meanwhile, her compatriot Courtney Kalisz stopped the clock in 2:12.75 to win silver, while Brazil's Daiene Dias rounded out the podium with a bronze-winning 2:13.35.

Men's 1500 freestyle Finals
The United States' Chip Peterson took down a 12-year-old Games record in the men's distance freestyle. He hit the wall in 15:12.33 to eclipse the 15:13.90 set by Carlton Bruner on March 17, 1995.

Meanwhile, Venezuela's Ricardo Monasterio earned silver in 15:23.28, while Canada's Kier Maitland grabbed bronze in 15:25.28.

Notably, the United States' Robert Margalis wound up fourth in 15:34.49.

Women's 200 breaststroke Semifinals
After watching teammate Keri Hehn topple the Games record in prelims with a 2:26.72, Caitlin Leverenz stepped up her game during semis with a lower time of 2:26.59. Leverenz still has room for improvement during finals, as she already clocked a 2:25.63 for the eighth-fastest time in the world this year at the Duel in the Pool, but she definitely put her mark on the race.

Canada's Annamay Pierse placed second in 2:27.86, while Hehn took third in 2:28.09.

Canada's Kathleen Stoody (2:33.13), Mexico's Adriana Marmolejo Vargas (2:34.59), Brazil's Tatiane Sakemi (2:35.34), Argentina's Agustina de Giovanni (2:38.27) and Jamaica's Alia Atkinson (2:40.51) will join them in the hunt for the title.

Men's 50 freestyle Semifinals
The Brazilian duo of Cesar Cielo and Nicholas Santos snagged the top two spots in semis with Cielo leading the way with a Games-record time of 22.18. That performance nipped Santos' prelim swim of 22.20, while Santos took second in semis with a 22.42.

Trinidad and Tobago's George Bovell claimed third in 22.55, while Colombia's Camilo Becerra Velasco finished fourth in 22.63.

Argentina's Jose Meolans (22.71), the United States' Gary Hall Jr. (22.86), Venezuela's Octavio Alesi (22.99) and the United States' Gabriel Woodward (23.11) comprised the rest of the top eight.

Women's 200 backstroke Semifinals
The United States' Teresa Crippen fell a bit short of her prelim Games-record breaking time of 2:12.35, but still did not need that extra space to top semis with a first-place 2:12.75. Canada's Liz Wycliffe touched right behind in 2:12.86, while the United States' Julia Smit grabbed third in 2:13.50.

Venezuela's Erin Volcan (2:16.80), Canada's Karah Stanworth-Belleville (2:17.47), Mexico's Maria Fernanda Gonzalez Ramirez (2:17.47) and Lourdes Villasenor Reyes (2:19.44) along with Brazil's Paula Baracho (2:20.20) will challenge for the gold medal during finals.

Men's 200 breaststroke Finals
Brazil's Thiago Pereira accomplished something that has not been done in the Games' history, and broke a Mark Spitz record along the way. Pereira garnered his sixth gold medal of the Games when he touched out teammate Henrique Barbosa for the 200 breast title, 2:13.51 to 2:13.83.

Meanwhile, the United States' Scott Spann hit the wall just behind the top two with a bronze-winning time of 2:13.98.

Women's 100 freestyle Semifinals
Brazil went 1-2 in the women's 100 free semis as Rebeca Gusmao paced the round in 55.76 and Flavia Delaroli took second in 56.40.

Puerto Rico's Vanessa Garcia Vega grabbed third in 56.44, while the United States' Lauren Thies placed fourth in 56.47.

Venezuela's Arlene Semeco (56.55), Mexico's Liliana Ibanez Lopez (56.80) and Canada's Elizabeth Collins (56.80) and Seanna Mitchell (56.98) rounded out the top eight.

American Michele King just missed out on finals with a ninth-place 57.14.

Men's 200 butterfly Finals
Brazil's Kaio Almeida smoked the men's 200 fly finals. Not only did he drop almost two seconds off the Games record of 1:57.33 set by Michael Raab on Aug. 12, 2003, he also clocked the fifth fastest time in the world this year with a 1:55.45.

The swim put him behind only Michael Phelps (1:52.09), Wu Peng (1:55.15), Nikolai Skvortsov (1:55.22) and Moss Burmester (1:55.35) this year. It also gave Almeida the fastest non-World Championship time in 2007.

The United States' Eddie Erazo snagged silver in 1:57.07, which is in the top 15 in the world this year, while Mexico's Juan Jose Veloz Davila nabbed bronze in 1:58.43.

Special thanks to USA Swimming for contributing to this report.

Click here to view session results PDF file.

Mark Spitz 1967 Pan American Games Retrospective
Written by Mark Wallace and June Krauser in August 1967 edition of Swimming World Magazine
Winnipeg, Canada – Unless you set a world record, you were just another swimmer as every Pan American Games record was erased from the record book, plus the addition of five new world for the men and eight for the women in the Fifth Pan American Games, July 25 – August 1. And if you were a poker player, you'd have to go along with Mark Spitz, the 16-year old from Santa Clara who reaped in five gold medals, as he set two world marks in his specialty (or what really is his specialty?) going 53.6 for the 100 m. butterfly (7/31) and 2:06.42 for the 200 m. fly (7/26). His split at the 100 m. turn was 1:00.84.

Spitz's other three medals came from his contribution to three gold medal winning relays. His 54.01 clocking in the U.S. team Relay Trials at the Pan American pool, earned him a berth on the victorious 400 meter freestyle relay, which won the event in 3:34.08. His 1:58.69 for 200 meters in the Relay Trials, secured a spot on the 800 m. freestyle relay, that returned 8:16.9 for a gold medal.

His win in the world record time in the 100 m. fly gave him the nod to swim that stroke on the victorious 400 m. medley which clocked 3:59.31.

While Claudia Kolb and Catie Ball each won three gold medals, none performed more brilliantly than 14-year old Debbie Meyer, whose coach Sherman Chavoor was the U.S. Pan American Women's coach.

Debbie ripped the world mark for 400 m. freestyle when she clocked 4:32.64 (7/27), which is under Pam Kruse's pending mark of 4:36.4 set at Santa Clara earlier this month. At Winnipeg, Miss Kruse could go no better than 4:42.81. The electronic timing device malfunctioned on the 200 split. Here are the official splits as available: 1:04.40; -; 3:23.95.

But probably the greatest swim was the shattering of the 800 m. freestyle standard. Miss Meyer bombed out and was never headed as she demolished her own pending mark of 9:35.8 with a torrid 9:22.9, (7/29). Teammate Sue Pedersen was second in 9:38.4. The winner's splits: 1:05.15; 2:15.24; 3:25.58; 4:36.25 (breaks listed 400 record) 5:47.73; 7:00.19; 8:12.99; 9:22.86. Catie Ball, the 15-year old breaststroke champion, wrenched the 100 m. world standard by returning 1:14.8 (7/29). She had shared the record of 1:15.7 with the Soviet 1964 Olympic Champion, Galina Prozumenschikova. In the 200 m. event, Catie cruised to an easy win in 2:42.18 with Claudia Kolb second, 2:48.93. In the shorter event, Uruguay's Ann Maria Norbis was second, 1:15.9 for a Uruguay record, and the third fastest time recorded this year.

Claudia Kolb, further lowered her 200 m. individual medley world mark (7/30) clocking 2:26.1. Her mark at Santa Clara was 2:27.5. In the 200 m. butterfly, Claudia was hard pressed to win from her teammate, Lee Davis, returning 2:25.5 to Lee's 2:26.7. The third gold medal won by Miss Kolb was in the 400 m. individual medley, (8/1) returning 5/09.68 further lowering her own world mark from 5:11.7 set at Santa Clara. The splits: 1:08.46; 2:29.79, 3:59.46; 5:09.68.

The tiny tiger from Vancouver, 16-year old Elaine Tanner, gave the capacity crowd of 3,000 something to shout about and they responded with a roar as she won her first Pan American gold medal (7/26) in the 200 m. backstroke, 2:24.44, two seconds faster than the listed world mark of Karen Muir. The split at 100 m. was 1:08.62. Miss Tanner then came back the next day (7/27) to win the 100 m. dorsal event, 1:07.32. This was reduced to 1:07.3 by a ruling of FINA representatives.

The eighth world record that fell to the American teenagers came in the 400 m. medley relay. The quartet of Kendis Moore, Catie Ball, Ellie Daniel and Wendy Fordyce clocked 4:30.0 to lower the 1964 mark of 4:33.9. Erika Bricker, a member of the 1963 Pan American team, won the 100 m. freestyle, clocking her best ever, 1:00.9, (59.9 in the prelim to tie the U.S. record, (7/30) a mere tenth of a second ahead of Canada's Marion Lay, 1:01.0.

Pam Kruse, U.S. cruised to an easy win in the 200 m. freestyle, 2:11.91 with Miss Lay again trailing, 2:14.68. Ellie Daniel, 16-year old from Elkins Park, Pa., won the 100 m. butterfly, upsetting favored Elaine Tanner, 1:05.2 to 1:05.4, and achieving the fastest time of the year.

Ken Walsh, Michigan State captain who graduated this year, married and toyed with the idea of retiring, changed his future plans when his lead-off leg on the 400 freestyle relay (77/27) wiped out the world record of 52.9 by Gottvales and Clark, as he clocked 52.58. He, Mike Fitzmaurice, Spitz and Don Schollander combined to post a 3:34.08. Schollander clipped another two-tenths of a second from his world 200 m. freestyle standard as he was timed in 1:56.0 (7/29). His splits 56.88 and 59.13.

Greg Charlton went under the listed world mark of 4:11.1 by Frank Wiegand, E. Germany when he clocked 4:10.2 (7/30). However Spitz has a mark pending of 4:08.8. Jose Fiola, Brazil, a 17 year old high school junior who weighs 165 pounds, showed a classic breaststroke with a big kick and won both the 100 m. and 200 m. events in 1:07.5 and 2:30.4 respectively. His split on the medley relay was 1:06.6. This unknown Rio de Janeiro youngster who trains but once a day, about 4,000 meters, promises to be one of the great as he is just beginning to come into world class.

Ralph Hutton, Canada's super star swam just about every event, and placed second in the 200 freestyle 1:58.4, 400 freestyle, 4:11.9, 1500 freestyle 16:51.81, third fastest ever and won his gold in the 200 m. backstroke 2:12.6, for the second fastest clocking of the year. Havens, 53.79 for the 100 free; Burton, 16:44.40 for 1500 free; Hickcox, 1:01.19 for 100 backstroke; Russell, 2:13.22 for 200 I.M. and Utley, 4:48.1 for 400IM were the other winners.

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July 22, 2007. In the associated article to this report, the 1967 Pan Pacific report from Mark Wallace and June Krauser ( it mentions Mark Spitz swimming 53.6 for a 100m Butterfly world record. The actual time was 56.3, equaled by Doug Russell a month later and broken again by Spitz with 55.7 five weeks after that. Clive

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