SYDNEY, Australia, NOVEMBER 21. IT wasn’t hard to select the premier swim at the Sydney stop on the World Cup circuit. Obviously, it was the world-record effort from Australia’s Lisbeth Lenton in the 200 freestyle. Enhancing her already impressive portfolio, Lenton clocked in at 1:53.29, a showing that complemented victories in the 50 free (23.85) and 100 free (52.17).
But, Lenton wasn’t the only athlete to produce stellar times. Actually, the weekend competition was a Who’s Who of major names in the sport. On the men’s side, South Africa’s Ryk Neethling followed up a five-win outing at the first World Cup stop with a quartet of triumphs in Sydney. Neethling zoomed to first-place finishes in the 50 free (21.69), 100 free (47.04), 200 free (1:43.97) and 100 individual medley (51.81).
On the home front, the Aussies received some top-flight swims from Leisel Jones and Brenton Rickard in the breaststroke races. Jones doubled in the 100 and 200 distances, clocking 1:04.84 and 2:21.93, while Rickard went 27.34 for first place in the 50 breast. Rickard was also second in the 200 breast, finishing behind countryman Jim Piper (2:07.78). The world champion in the 100 butterfly, Jessicah Schipper won the 200 fly for Australia in 2:05.48 and Jade Edmistone was tops in the 50 breast in 30.13. Another Aussie win was supplied by Lara Carroll in the 400 I.M. (4:34.08).
The United States contingent was also impressive, led by Natalie Coughlin’s trio of triumphs. Coughlin won the 100 butterfly (57.39), 100 backstroke (57.56) and the 100 I.M. (1:00.60). Those swims complemented a Peter Marshall double in the 50 (23.68) and 100 (51.37) backstrokes. Randall Bal, second to Marshall in the shorter dorsal events, was the victor in the 200 back (1:52.59). Margaret Hoelzer prevailed for the women in the 200 back with an effort of 2:06.78.
New Zealand’s Dean Kent collected a pair of first-place finishes in the 200 and 400 I.M. races, going 1:56.84 and 4:08.00. Zimbabwe’s Kirsty Coventry was the female winner of the 200 I.M. with a swim of 2:09.72.