Japan International Swim Meet: Day Three Continues Strong Swimming With Stellar Times; Kirsty Coventry Takes Run at Krisztina Egerszegi’s 200 Back WR

CHIBA, Japan, August 23. THE third night of swimming took place at the Japan International Swim Meet as many of the world's top swimmers took the chance to send a message across the globe before shutting it down and focusing on the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The two-per country A final rule is in effect at this meet. So, SwimmingWorldMagazine.com has decided to give full coverage to both the A and B final results. Those swimmers not making the cut for A finals are still posting some big times in the B heats.

Women's 100 butterfly
Australia's Libby Lenton clocked a winning-time of 57.88 as the only swimmer to surpass the 58-second threshold. She had to use some back-half speed, though, as the United States' Rachel Komisarz took it out in 27.25 compared to Lenton's 27.49 before settling for second in 58.11.

Both times were off each swimmer's season-best times as Lenton touched in 57.15 to win the world title, while Komisarz turned in a 57.96 in February.

200 fly world record holder Jessicah Schipper of Australia picked up third-place honors in 58.36, also off her second-place effort at Worlds of 57.24.

Christine Magnuson of the United States posted a personal-best readout of 58.56 for fourth place to surpass her previous best time of 58.76 set earlier this month at U.S. Nationals.

Click Here to view A finals results PDF file.

South Africa's Keri-Leigh Shaw earned the touch-out B final victory with a readout of 59.17 by building a nearly .30 second lead after 50 meters with a 27.55 split and never looking back.

Japan's Ayako Doi wound up second in the heat with a 59.47, while the United States' Felicia Lee grabbed third in 59.48.

Click Here to view B finals results PDF file.

Women's 200 backstroke
Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry continued a remarkable meet in the Land of the Rising Sun as she tore through the 200-meter event in a time of 2:06.83. That fell just shy of Krisztina Egerszegi's global standard of 2:06.62 set on Aug. 25, 1991.

Coventry's performance made her just the second woman under the 2:07 barrier, and jumped her ahead of Margaret Hoelzer (2:07.16) and He Cihong (2:07.40) into second all-time. Coventry previously sat fourth in the world with a time of 2:07.54 set at the World Championships in Melbourne earlier this year.

Great Britain's Elizabeth Simmonds and Japan's Reiko Nakamura battled it out for second place as Simmonds touched in 2:09.52 and Nakamura took third in 2:09.91.

The swim for Simmonds proved to be of the breakout variety as her previous best effort came with a 2:11.09 at Worlds in Melbourne. The 2:09.52 moved her into the top 15 in the world. Meanwhile, Nakamura came up a bit short of her best effort of 2:08.54 set at Worlds as well.

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China's Zhao Jing earned the B final triumph with a time of 2:12.18, while Swimming World Magazine's High School Swimmer of the Year Mary Beck of the United States took second in 2:13.15. Australia's Emily Seebohm concluded youth-driven B final top-three with a 2:13.28 readout.

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Men's 200 backstroke
Japan gave the hometown crowd something to cheer for in the men's 200 back as Ryosuke Irie and Tomomi Morita swept the top two spots in the event.

Irie nearly clipped the Japanese record of 1:57.17 with a winning effort of 1:57.30. The performance chopped significant time off Irie's previous top time of 1:58.42 set at the Japan National Championships in April.

Morita, meanwhile, placed second in 1:58.32, which stands as a personal best by surpassing his 2004 Olympic Games effort of 1:58.40.

Great Britain's Gregor Tait took third in 1:58.86, which is better than his season-best time of 1:59.41 recorded at Worlds, but short of his personal-best readout of 1:57.42 set at the 2004 British Championships.

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China's Ouyang Kunpeng easily won the B final with a top-time of 2:01.51, while Japan's Junichi Miyashita touched second in 2:02.24. The United States' Rex Tuillius came in third in the consolation heat with a 2:03.15.

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Women's 200 freestyle
Australia's Bronte Barratt eclipsed the 1:58 mark for the second time in as many days with a gold-medal effort of 1:57.92. That clocking was just off her effort of 1:57.54 from the previous day, as the leadoff leg to Australia's 800 free relay.

McClatchey of Great Britain notched a second-place time of 1:58.28, while Sweden's Josefin Lillhage took third in 1:58.59. Lillhage fell a bit off her season-best time of 1:57.78 registered at Worlds.

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The United States' Allison Schmitt surfaced with a B final win by touching out China's Pang Jiaying, 1:59.47 to 1:59.78. Australia's Kylie Palmer rounded out the top three in the B final with a 2:01.30.

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Men's 200 freestyle
Australia's Kenrick Monk posted a full-second victory in the men's 200 free with a time of 1:47.25. That time fell just shy of his season-best readout of 1:47.12 set at Worlds.

Monk kept pace with teammate Kirk Palmer through the initial 100 meters, as Palmer led, 52.87 to 52.97, before fading to fourth place with a time of 1:48.79.

China's Zhang Enjian placed second in 1:48.48, while Poland's Pawel Korzeniowski rounded out the top three in 1:48.51 – just off his 1:48.21 at the Paris Open for his season best.

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Australia's Andrew Mewing captured a one-second conquest of the consolation heat with a time of 1:48.81. He knocked off Japan's Hisayoshi Sato in the event, as Sato clocked a 1:49.91. New Zealand's Moss Burmester picked up third in the heat with a time of 1:50.58.

Click Here to view B finals results PDF file.

Women's 200 breaststroke
Lethal Leisel Jones of Australia demonstrated just how dominant she is in the event as she cruised home in a time of 2:21.45. That time stands among the top five times ever, all of which are owned by Jones as she is the only woman to break both the 2:21 and 2:22 thresholds.

Although the United States' Rebecca Soni gave Jones all she could handle for the initial 100 meters with Jones leading 1:08.89 to 1:08.91 at the midway mark, Jones powered home to easily claim the title.

Soni improved her personal-best time with a second-place readout of 2:23.36. That shaved a bit from her old top performance of 2:23.62 recorded at U.S. Nationals earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Japan placed third and fourth with Nanaka Tamura touching in 2:25.05 and Megumi Taneda hitting the wall in 2:25.45.

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Japan's Rie Kaneto nipped Great Britain's Kirsty Balfour, 2:27.65 to 2:27.87, to walk away with the B final crown, while the United States' Jessica Schmitt placed third in the heat with a time of 2:29.59.

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Men's 200 breaststroke
Japan's Kosuke Kitajima nearly popped the 2:10 threshold, a place where only world-record holder Brendan Hansen, Kitajima and Dimitri Komornikov have been. Kitajima, however, closed the night with a gold-medal winning readout of 2:10.02.

Great Britain's Kristopher Gilchrist did not give Kitajima much room to breath, as he closed the final 50 strong to touch in 2:10.32 for second. The breakthrough performance for Gilchrist shot him right past the 2:11s and into rare territory as his previous best had been a 2:12.40 set at the Great Britain Championships in July. Gilchrist moved into the top five all time past Ed Moses' 2:10.40 and behind Mike Barrowman's 2:10.16.

Kazakhstan's Vlad Polyakov rounded out the top three in 2:12.29, which lowered his season-best time of 2:13.09 recorded in July.

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Japan's Ryo Tateishi turned in a season-best time of 2:12.84 in an exciting victory over Bulgaria's Mike Alexandrov by the slimmest of margins as Alexandrov recorded a second-place 2:12.85 in the B final. Tateishi's previous season best came with a 2:12.88 at the Japan National Championships in April. Australia's Christian Sprenger, meanwhile, took third in 2:13.35.

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Men's 1500 freestyle
World-record holder Grant Hackett of Australia kept up his strong return to form with the third-fastest time of the year by clocking a 14:48.70 over the metric mile.

Poland's Mateusz Sawrymowicz, who owns the best time of the year thus far with a 14:45.94 to win the world title, checked in with a second-place 14:50.72.

Meanwhile, Korea's Tae Hwan Park snagged bronze with a 14:58.73, a few seconds off his personal-best time of 14:55.03 set at the 2006 Asian Games in December.

Click Here to view finals results PDF file.