Paris, France – Jenny Thompson lowered her own 100m butterfly short course world record at the Paris World Cup XI on Saturday. The American world champion clocked 56.80 seconds, inside her previous world mark of 56.90 set at College Station, Texas, on December 1, 1998.
Having arrived in Europe early in the week for three World Cup meetings, Thompson quickly found her best form at the Imperia meeting in Italy in midweek. In Paris, the New Hampshire swimmer fulfilled her promise of a world record.
“Before the Sydney Olympics, I will go to the short-course world championships in March and afterwards concentrate on training,” she said. “I will spend summer in California and not leave the States.”
A slow start saw her outside world record time at the halfway stage — 26.66 compared with the 26.51 of the 1998 record — before she accelerated superbly to the finish. Thompson came in nearly four seconds ahead of second-placed Pang Ran of China, who clocked 1:00.30.
Briton James Hickman clocked a year’s best in the 200 meters butterfly of 1:52.26 but it was half a second slower than the world mark he set in the same pool two years ago.
A large French crowd came to see backstroke world champion Roxana Maracineanu and she did not let her fans down with a French record of 2:08.27 over 200 meters.
Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband, six times European champion in Istanbul, was far from his best in his first big meeting of the season, finishing third in the 100 meter freestyle won by veteran Brazilian Gustavo Borges in 48.54.