1999 Pan Pacific Championships: Day 6


By Stephen J. Thomas

American Lenny Krayzelburg took down the 200m backstroke world record by 0.80 while South African Penny Heyns continued her amazing run to break her 200m breaststroke world record for the second time in two days. Both swimmers have established world records in the 100m and 200m in their respective disciplines at this meet. The world record books have been adjusted ten times in six days of very fast swimming.

Men’s 200m Backstroke Final
Lenny K looked relaxed and confident as he headed to the warm-up pool, a man with a mission – Spaniard Martin Zubero’s eight-year-old world record. He took race out very fast, 1.10 under the world record at the 50m, 1.89 at the 100m and 1.86 at the 150m mark bringing it home in a new world record time of 1:55.87.

Krayzelburg said after the race “I went out a little bit fast, breaking the record created a bit of pressure on me but I’m relieved and very excited.” “The crowd was awesome, some people say you can’t hear it but I can definitely hear it, it gives you that second wind.”

The minor placings were fought out between Aussies Ray Hass (1.59.87) who touched just ahead of the vastly improved Cameron Delaney in another PB (1:59.98). Canadian Chris Renaud was fourth in 2:00.14 ahead of a tiring Olympic Champion, Brad Bridgewater (USA) 2:00.20.

Krayzelburg’s world record splits were: (Previous record in brackets)
27.18 56.19 1:25.64 1:55.87*NWR
(28.29) (58.08) (1:27.50) (1:56.57)

Men’s 200m Individual Medley Final
Fastest qualifier Tom Wilkens was out with the early leader Ron Karnaugh (USA) at the first turn and held third place behind young Aussie Grant McGregor. Wilkens and Canadian Curtis Myden made their move in the third leg with Wilkens finished powerfully to beat Myden. Aussie Matt Dunn, winner of the 400 IM, moved into third place with a strong freestyle leg. Wilkens time of 2:01.01 was a personal best, placing him fifth fastest American. Myden clocked 2:01.64 and Dunn 2:01.86.

Grant McGregor (AUS) 2:02.65
Ron Karnaugh (USA) 2:03.33
Terence Parkin (RSA) 2:03.52
Theo Verster (RSA) 2:04.24
Xufeng Xie (CHN) 2:04.31

Wilkins felt he had worked on his race tonight and got himself in a position to win. “I think in my head I really knew exactly what I needed to do to win and luckily I was able to do that,” he said. “Hopefully by next summer I will be able to break the American record.”

Women’s 200m Breaststroke Final
World records have become a little repetitive for Penny Heyns this week. The South African has now broken world records seven times in just under six weeks – a simply unbelievable performance. As has been the case in previous starts, she went out powerfully to the 50m well under her one day-old world record split and continued to build to finish 0.78 ahead of her record in 2:23.64. Kristy Kowal (USA) produce an excellent performance by staying within a body length of Heyns until the last lap to record a personal best 2:25.52, the second best by an American, behind Anita Nall. Another South African, sixteen year-old Sarah Poewe produced a personal best to take the bronze in 2:25.90 and place her eight best all-time performer. She easily beat Sam Riley (AUS) 2:28.75 and Masami Tanaka (JAP) 2:29.46

The new record splits were: (Previous in brackets)
0:32.52 1:09.16 1:46.02 2:23.64*NWR
0:33.24 1:10.58 1:47.91 2:24.42

“I kind of felt that I was losing it mentally in the last 50m. It wasn’t as tough as the other evenings. That’s why I was shocked at the time. I’ve had a lot of fun at this meet and I look forward to coming back next year.”

Heyns announced she would swim a special time trial to attempt on the 50-meter world record tomorrow morning.

Women’s 100m Freestyle Final
Jenny Thompson came into this race with 21 gold medals from Pan Pacific competition she finished the race with 22. Thompson went out very fast turning in 26.47 ahead of Sarah Ryan of Australia in 26.88 and Liesi Kolbisen (USA) third in 26.96. Thompson tired a little on the run home to win comfortably in 54.89. Ryan was second in a personal best 55.58 equaling Susie O’Neill’s Australian record and marking a return to form after struggling for a couple of years. Fellow Aussie Rebecca Creedy was third in 55.90 also a personal best. Laura Nicholls (CAN) in 56.11 and Suzu Chiba (JPN) were next to touch.

Thompson said after the race; “I wanted to go fast in the first 50m but in the end I didn’t breath enough and it hurt me in the end. At this point in the meet it seems you have a reason to be disappointed if you haven’t broken a world record. That’s kinda how I felt after this race…like oh I won big deal. She felt this meet has changed the standards of swimming, it has encouraged everyone at this meet to set higher standards for next year when they return to this pool.

Liesl Kolbisen (USA) 56.20
Claudia Poll (CRC) 56.80
Charlene Whittstock (RSA) 57.69

Men’s 50m Freestyle Preliminaries
South African Brendon Dedekind swam a personal best 22.16 in the heats and improved again in the second semi-final to be fastest qualifier in 22.14. Gary Hall JNR (USA) qualified second fastest in winning the second semi-final in 22.44. He told Swimming World he had been suffering from a flu bug earlier in the week but felt good tonight and felt he would do better tomorrow. William Pyczuk (22.59) was the second Yank to qualify edging out Neil Walker (22.63) and Jason Lezak (22.64).

The other qualifiers were: Chris Fydler (AUS) 22.64
Nathan Rickard (AUS) 22.80
Nick Folker RSA) 22.86
Tomohiro Yamanoi (JAP) 23.06
Shunsuke Ito (JAP) 23.39

Men’s 100m Butterfly Preliminaries
Three hot Aussies were fighting for two places in the final. Michael Klim the current world record holder swam a very fast 52.76 to win the first semi-final from Atlanta silver medallist Scott Miller in 53.01. Then it was up to Geoff Huegill to see if he could do the time. He set a cracking pace and turned in 24.39, which was 0.22 under world record pace. He brought it home strongly to record a championship record 52.45 to place him third fastest all-time list. Miller missed out with the third fastest time and his best time since Atlanta!

The other qualifiers were:
Takashi Yamamoto (JAP) 53.14
Dod Wales (USA) 53.73
Brock Newman (USA) 53.94
Michael Mintenko (CAN) 53.97
Theo Verster (RSA) 54.34
Ryan Kelly (RSA) 55.03

Women’s 200m Backstroke Preliminaries
Tomoko Hagiwara (JAP) 2:11.20
Miki Nakao (JAP) 2:12.33
Lindsey Benko (USA) 2:13.32
BJ Bedford (USA) 2:13.77
Kelly Stefanyshyn (CAN) 2:14.58
Danielle Lewis (AUS) 2:14.73
Joo-Hee Roh (KOR) 2:15.04
Emma Johnson AUS) 2:15.22

Two other Japanese swimmers swam solid times but missed out with the two per country rule.
Mai Nakamura (JAP) 2:13.66
Noriko Inada (JAP) 2:13.72

Women’s 800m Freestyle Heats
Brooke Bennett (USA) was the fastest qualifier by fifteen seconds in 8:26.34. Her time was a PB by 0.02 … an outstanding swim.

Rachel Harris (AUS) 8:41.17
Ellen Stonebraker (USA) 8:42.95
Joanne Malar (CAN) 8:43.41
Sachiko Yamada (JAP) 8:45.61
Danielle Woods (AUS) 8:45.73
Natalie Du Toit (RSA) 9:08.75
Katie Brambley (CAN) 9:09.08

Stephen J. Thomas, former editorial consultant of Australian Swimming and Fitness Magazine, is Swimming World’s Australian correspondent.