Duel in the Pool: Flash! Three World Records Fall on Second Day; Team USA Wins

MANCHESTER, England, December 19. THE second session of short course meter swimming at the Duel in the Pool produced three more world records as 2009 comes to a close. Team USA completed a thrashing of the short-handed E-Stars team, 185-78. The men won 95-37, while the women took a 90-41 victory. The E-Stars were not helped by the fact that a sponsor issue prevented the French from adding anyone to the team. Additionally, the reigning Swimming World European Swimmers of the Year Federica Pellegrini and Paul Biedermann had previous engagements.

Great Britain's Rebecca Adlington opened the night with a victory in the women's 800 free. She topped the field in 8:10.59, while E-Star and compatriot Keri-Anne Payne provided a 1-2 finish with a second-place 8:17.61. Amber McDermott placed third for Team USA in 8:21.82.

Italy's Federico Colbertaldo emerged from a tough battle in the men's 800 free with the winning time of 7:31.18. He crushed his previous national record of 7:38.87 set a week ago. He also beat Paul Biedermann's European record of 7:35.23 set last year. Chad La Tourette of Team USA took second in 7:33.94 to smash the longest-standing American record on the books in short course meter competition. Jeff Kostoff's hallowed 7:43.06 from way back in 1983 is no more. Great Britain's David Davies and Michael Klueh of the U.S. tied for third with matching 7:36.47s.

The U.S. bounced back in the women's 200 free with a 1-2 sweep. Allison Schmitt continued her strong meet with an American record time of 1:51.67. She shattered the previous record of 1:54.04 set by Lindsay Benko in 2002. She also gave Federica Pellegrini's world record of 1:51.17 a scare. Dagny Knutson placed second for Team USA with a strong 1:53.59, also under the previous American record. Meanwhile, Fran Halsall of Great Britain took third in 1:53.79. She lowered Melanie Marshall's British record of 1:54.53 set in 2006.

Peter Vanderkaay of Team USA checked in with a 1:42.17 in the men's 200 free for the win. That performance wiped out Michael Phelps' American record of 1:42.78 set in 2006. Benjamin Starke of Germany finished second in 1:42.86, while Phelps completed the podium with a third-place 1:43.08.

Great Britain gave the E-Stars a 1-3 finish in the women's 100 back. Elizabeth Simmonds clocked a swift time of 56.69 for the win. That swim beat her previous national record of 56.92 set in Stockholm on the World Cup circuit last month. Gemma Spofforth took third for the E-Stars with a 57.62. Margaret Hoelzer split the difference for Team USA with a 57.35.

Nick Thoman lost a second world record in the men's 100 back after drawing a disqualification. He had clocked a 48.93 that just edged his world record time of 48.94 set yesterday in relay action. Matt Grevers of Team USA won the event with a 49.32, while teammate Aaron Peirsol placed second in 51.25. Great Britain's Liam Tancock took third overall in 51.40.

The U.S. women swept the 100 breaststroke along with a ridiculously fast time for Rebecca Soni. Soni broke the 1:03 barrier and wiped out Leisel Jones' world record of 1:03.00 with a stunning time of 1:02.70. Jessica Hardy took second for Team USA with a 1:04.71, while Katy Freeman completed the sweep with a 1:05.13. Incidentally, Soni also beat Hardy's American record of 1:03.30.

Here are the comparative world record splits:
Soni: 30.08, 1:02.70 (32.62)
Jones: 30.05, 1:03.00 (32.95)

After setting the short course yard American record in the 100 breast as a dual citizen of Bulgaria and the U.S., but while still representing Bulgaria internationally, Mike Alexandrov can now say he's claimed an uncontroversial American record while representing the U.S. Alexandrov won the men's 100 breast tonight with a 57.16. That effort cleared Ed Moses' 2002 mark of 57.47. Italy's Fabio Scozzoli took second in 57.47, while Kevin Swander placed third for Team USA in 57.64.

Mary DeScenza Mohler won the women's 200 fly for Team USA in 2:04.78. That swim finished just off her national record of 2:04.27 set in Manchester a year ago. Dana Vollmer gave Team USA a 1-2 sweep with a 2:05.34, while Italy's Francesca Segat finished third in 2:05.53 – just shy of her national record of 2:04.92 from November 2008.

Great Britain's Michael Rock topped the men's 200 fly in 1:51.46. He just missed Joe Roebuck's British mark of 1:51.27 set last week. Michael Phelps finished second for Team USA in 1:52.86, while Tyler McGill touched third in 1:53.17 for the U.S.

Fran Halsall of Great Britain snared the women's 50 free in 23.44. She crushed her national record of 23.94 set a month ago in the World Cup. She also rattled Marleen Veldhuis' world record of 23.25. Jessica Hardy placed second in 24.04, while Team USA teammate Christine Magnuson finished third in 24.05.

Nathan Adrian became the first man in the U.S. under 21 seconds in the men's 50 free with a sterling time of 20.71. That swim broke Sabir Muhammad's American record of 21.07 set at the World Cup last month. Just .21 seconds later, Matt Grevers became the second man in the U.S. under 21 seconds with a 20.93. Italy's Marco Orsi finished third in 21.12.

The U.S. women went 1-2-3 in the women's 200 IM, while Julia Smit led the way with a world record. Smit clocked a blazing time of 2:05.60 to clip Evelyn Verraszto's global standard of 2:04.64 set nine days ago at the European Short Course Championships. Smit also demolished Whitney Myers' American record of 2:06.20 set at the World Cup last month. Ariana Kukors (2:07.87) and Katie Hoff (2:08.37) completed the U.S. sweep.

Here are the comparative splits of the world records:
Smit: 27.22, 58.60 (31.38), 1:34.54 (35.94), 2:04.60 (30.06)
Verraszto: 27.56, 58.78 (31.22), 1:35.92 (37.14), 2:04.64 (28.72)

Great Britain's James Goddard won the men's 200 IM with a time of 1:52.62. He downed the British record of 1:53.10 previously set by Liam Tancock last year. Jack Brown (1:54.43) and Tyler Clary (1:54.82) finished 2-3 for the U.S.

On the back of a monster anchor leg from Dana Vollmer in the women's 400 free relay, Team USA captured a 3:28.89 to 3:29.90 victory. Missy Franklin, Christine Magnuson and Amanda Weir had the U.S. more than a second behind the E-Stars team of Halsall, Daniela Schreiber and Daniel Samulski. Vollmer, however, smoked Elizabeth Simmonds in the final 100, 50.98 to 53.74, to secure the victory. Team USA's time crushed the former American record of 3:34.96 set by Jessica Hardy, Rachel Komisarz, Emily Silver and Kara Denby at the 2008 World Championships. The win also completed an annihilation of the short-handed E-Stars women's squad, as the U.S. won 90-41.

The men of Team USA smashed the men's 400 free relay world record with an amazing time of 3:03.30. Nathan Adrian leadoff with an American record time of 45.08 in the 100 free. He beat his previous record of 45.42 set yesterday. Adrian (45.08), Grevers (44.68), Garrett Weber-Gale (47.43) and Phelps (46.11) completed the world record swim in 3:03.30. That time crushed the 3:04.98 set by France as the final world record of 2008.

Here are the comparative splits:
U.S.: Nathan Adrian (45.08), Matt Grevers (44.68), Garrett Weber-Gale (47.43) and Michael Phelps (46.11)
France: Gregory Mallet (47.41), Fabien Gilot (44.92), William Meynard (47.65) and Fred Bousquet (45.00)

The E-Stars team of Christian Galenda (46.67), Orsi (45.95), Starke (45.81) and Filippo Magnini (46.52) took second in 3:04.95, also under the former world record. With the end of the meet, Team USA's men scored a convincing 95-37 victory. Hopefully, in the future, the French can be added to the E-Stars team to help make it more competitive.

Full Results