By John Lohn
MONTREAL, Canada, July 24. AUSSIE rule was the theme of the women’s 100 butterfly, as Jessicah Schipper and Lisbeth Lenton won their semifinal heats. Schipper lowered her championship record from the preliminaries with a mark of 57.75. As for Lenton, known more for her sprinting exploits in the freestyle events, she delivered a PR 58.11 clocking.
Otylia Jedrzejczak of Poland, the silver medalist at the Olympic Games in Athens, was the third-fastest qualifier and should be in the mix for the top spot after a swim of 58.19. There was a sizable dropoff to the fourth spot, occupied by the Netherlands’ Inge Dekker (58.73). The American duo of Mary DeScenza (58.88) and Rachel Komisarz (58.93) sat fifth and sixth, respectively, but each must dip lower to hit the medal podium.
In the absence of Inge DeBruijn and Petria Thomas, the event is in rebuilding mode, something Schipper doesn’t seem to have an issue with. Part of a strong Australian women’s squad, Schipper is staring at a breakout competition. Long an influence on the international scene, Slovakia’s Martina Moravcova was seventh in 59.02 and the eighth spot for the Monday final went to China’s Yafei Zhou (59.17).