INDIANAPOLIS, October 11. BROOKE Hanson surged on a wave of momentum to her fifth individual win of the championships, and sixth gold medal when the world record medley relay is added in. She won the 200 breaststroke in a PR 2:21.68 and had to beat the Olympic champion to do it.
Hanson took control early and made great use of the walls. Brooke led at the 50 (32.34), and even though Olympic winner Amanda Beard touched first at the 100 (1:08.26 Beard; 1:08.44 Hanson; 1:08.63 Mirna Jukic(AUT)), Hanson surfaced with an unmistakable lead after the pullout from that wall. She officially moved back into the lead by the 150 split and then pulled away.
It is highly unusual to see Amanda Beard outsplit on the back half of a 200 (Hanson – 1:13.24; Beard 1:14.27) or especially in the last 50 (Hanson – :36.73; Beard – :37.36), but Hanson accomplished both.
Beard won the silver at 2:22.53. The Aussies took the remaining podium position with Sarah Katsoulis at 2:22.97 over Jukic at 2:23.45.
American great Kristy Kowal, silver medalist in this event in Sydney, was fifth at 2:25.48 in likely her competitive swan song. One of her great contributions to the sport was to be the leader that moved the University of Georgia women’s team over the top to multiple NCAA team titles.