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European Champs Prelims: Lars, Martina Lead Qualifiers in Helsinki -- July 7, 2000

HELSINKI, July 7. Sweden's Lars Frolander and Slovakia's Martina Moravcova--both graduates of SMU in Dallas--breezed into the semi-finals today, as they topped the 16 prelim qualifiers in their respective events.

Frolander clocked 53.80 for the men's 100 meter butterfly, one of five men to crack 54 seconds. Germany's Thomas Rupprath, who last month set a national record of 52.58 at the German Olympic Trials, was third in 53.88.

Swimming in her fourth individual event, Moravcova eased up at the end of the women's 200 meter freestyle but still had the top prelims time, 2:01.65. Romania's Camelia Potec, co-favorite in the event with Moravcova, was the fourth qualifier in 2:02.80.

Israel's Yoav Gath was well ahead of all the other men's 200 meter backstroke qualifiers, putting in a fine 2:00.61 time, well ahead of Ukraine's Volodymyr Nikolaychuk at 2:01.38 and Croatia's Gordan Kozulj at 2:02.43.

France's Karine Bremond turned in the fastest women's 200 meter breaststroke prelim time, 2:30.83. Defending champ and pre-meet favorite Agnes Kovacs, of Hungary, was third in 2:31.12