By John Lohn
MONTREAL, Canada, July 26. THIS morning, the world-record holder could not advance out of the preliminary round. Tonight, the defending world champ was bounced to the sideline. Yes, the men’s 50-meter breaststroke has featured a few surprises, the most recent being Great Britain’s James Gibson failing to reach the final. The defending titlist, Gibson finished 12th. In the prelims, world-record holder Oleg Lisogor (Ukraine) was ousted.
Coming off a bronze-medal showing in the 100 breaststroke on Monday night, France’s Hugues Duboscq led all qualifiers into the final, as he checked in with a time of 27.73. He was followed by Slovenia’s Emil Tahirovic (27.81) and Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima (27.89). Kitajima won silver in the 100 breast, behind American Brendan Hansen. The United States’ Mark Gangloff qualified fourth (27.90), but was considerably slower than in the prelims, when he touched the wall in 27.49.
Great Britain’s Chris Cook was fifth in 27.91 and 35-year-old Mark Warnecke of Germany collected the sixth-fastest qualifying effort, as he stopped the clock in 27.96. Rounding out the field for the championship final were the Ukraine’s Valeriy Dymo (28.00) and Australia’s Brenton Rickard (28.04).