Nathan Adrian Thrilled To Finally Capture 50 Free American Record (SW Radio)

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The American record of 21.40 had been haunting Nathan Adrian since Cullen Jones set the mark in the 2009 world championships semifinal. Adrian watched Jones post the time in the first semifinal in Rome, and was bummed that he couldn’t surpass it in the next semifinal heat.

Adrian can take the monkey off his back, posting a 21.37 in the semifinals of this year’s world championships. It was six long years of trying to beat a time done in the polyurethane techsuits of 2009, but the wait was worth it.

“It took a lot of time building strength and power through the weight room, through the pool, doing a lot of short sprint stuff,” he said.

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Adrian went into some detail about those sprint workouts he would do, including “blasts” of five meters or 10 meters to gain quickness in the muscles and the ability to start sprinting immediately.

“That’s sometimes my entire workout,” he said. “The distance guys were over there chugging along going an hour and half, two hours, and I was out of there in 15 minutes. It all worked out.”

Adrian expected to only go 21.7 in semifinals, equal to his swim in the prelims this morning. But things felt good this evening, and he decided to not hold back.

“There’s no guarantee I’m going to feel like that tomorrow (during the final),” Adrian said. “When I felt that I thought to myself, ‘You gotta go.’”

He knows it will take a time similar to that in order for him to capture his first individual world title, and he’s expecting reigning Olympic champion Florent Manaudou to make it a tough competition.

“Flo’s probably got more in the tank, and he’s phenomenal,” Adrian said.