Flash! German Women Take Down 400 FR World Record at Europeans

BUDAPEST, Hungary, July 31. DURING a hot and humid first day of competition that witnessed 95 degree heat at the 2006 LEN European Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Monday, the German women’s team of Petra Dallmann, Daniela Goetz, Britta Steffen and Annika Liebs erased the world record in the 400-meter freestyle relay with a sterling time of 3:35.22 at the new pool at Margaret Island.

Women’s 400-meter Freestyle Relay Final
The German relay led from start-to-finish in a fantastic world-record time of 3:35.22. The German quartet downed the previous world record held by the Australians of 3:35.94. The splits went as follows: Dallmann, 54.53; Goetz, 53.87; Steffen, 52.66; and Liebs, 54.16.

Men's 400-meter Freestyle Finals
Italian Massimiliano Rosolino started out fast and led until the 350-meter mark, but tired and let Russian Yury Prilukov slip by to claim gold in a meet-record time of 3:45.73. Meanwhile, Rosolino posted a 3:46.87. Additionally, Prilukov’s effort surpassed Italian Emiliano Brembilla’s standard set in Sevilla, Spain in 1997.

Women's 50-meter Butterfly Semifinals
Sweden’s Theresa Alshamar posted the fastest time in 26.10, while Inge Dekker picked up the second-fastest time in 26.31. Meanwhile, favorite Antje Buschschulte of Germany suffered a disqualification for falling in before the whistle.

Men’s 100-meter Backstroke Semifinals
Russian Arkady Vyatchanin clocked a meet-record time of 53.91 to grab the top-qualifying time from the semifinals. His performance wiped away German Stev Theloke’s previous standard of 54.42 set in 2002 in Berlin. Austrian Markus Rogan also cleared the meet record, but fell short of Vyatchanin in 54.27.

Women’s 400-meter IM
Italian Alessia Filippi posted a wire-to-wire victory in 4:35.80. Meanwhile, Germany’s Nicole Hetzer earned silver in 4:37.97, while Poland’s Katarzyna Baranowska pocketed bronze in 4:40.02.

“After the European Short Course Champs last December I changed my life,” Filippi said. “I started my studies and got a new coach. My goal is to improve my time for next year's World Championships and win the gold in 2008 at Beijing."

Men’s 100-meter Breaststroke Semifinals
2002 Berlin European Champion Oleg Lisogor of Russian clocked the fastest qualifying time of 1:00.53. Meanwhile, France’s Hugues Duboscq posted the second-best time with a 1:00.72.

Women’s 200-meter Backstroke Semifinals
France’s Esther Baron touched with the fastest qualifying time of 2:11.91, while Ukrainian Iryna Amshennikova clocked a second-place 2:12.14.

Men’s 50-meter Butterfly Semifinals
Ukrainian Sergiy Breus rolled to the fastest qualifying time of 23.71, while Denmark’s Jakob Andkjaer earned the second-best time of 23.76.

Men’s 400-meter Freestyle Relay Final
Italy’s quartet of Alessandro Calvi, Christian Galenda, Lorenzo Vismara and Filippo Magnini blazed to a meet-record time of 3:15.23 to capture gold. The effort wiped out the Italians’ previous record of 3:15.66 set in 2004 in Madrid, Spain.

Norbert Agh contributed to this report