World Champs, Day 6 Evening Session: Schoeman Pops Fastest Time in 50 Free Semifinals -- July 29, 2005
By John Lohn
MONTREAL, Canada, July 29. HE just missed winning gold in the 100-meter freestyle. Can he come through in the 50-meter free? South Africa’s Roland Schoeman notched the fastest qualifying swim on Friday in the one-lap sprint, as he hit the wall in 22.09 in the splash-and-dash event. On Thursday night, Schoeman had the lead in the 100 free, but was edged at the wall by Italy’s Filippo Magnini and settled for silver.
Poland’s Bartosz Kizierowski and Algeria’s Salim Iles tied for the second-swiftest times of the semifinal round, as each hit the touchpad in 22.14. Kizierowski was slightly quicker in the morning preliminaries, where he had the fastest time of the day in 22.08. Spain’s Eduard Lorente and the United States’ Nick Brunelli tied for the fourth seed for the championship race, going 22.19.
Also sharing identical times for the final were Croatia’s Duje Draganja and Russia’s Andrey Kapralov, who advanced in sixth place with swims of 22.20. Draganja is capable of winning the race, as he was the silver medalist in Athens last summer, placing one spot higher than Schoeman. The Olympic title went to Gary Hall Jr., not competing at the World Champs.
France’s Fred Bousquet grabbed the final berth to the championship race, as his time of 22.26 was just enough to extend his program. An Auburn University product, Bousquet won the NCAA title last spring and became the first man in history to crack the 19-second barrier in the 50-yard free, accomplishing the feat on two occasions.