Olympic Day 5 Finals

By Phillip Whitten & Michael Collins

SYDNEY, September 20. On the fifth night of competition, America decided to spoil the Aussie party. In perhaps the biggest upset in a meet with more than its share of upsets, Misty Hyman defeated both Australians: world record holder Susie O'Neill and Petria Thomas; Gary Hall Jr. kept Michael Klim from a medal as he claimed the bronze behind Hoogie and Alex Popov in the 100 free; and the US women's 4 x 200 freestyle relay came from behind to nip the Aussies at the wire.

Men's 200 Breast Final

Gold – Fioravanti ITA 2:10.87 Italian Record
Silver – Parkin RSA 2:12.50
Bronze – Rummolo ITA 2:12.73

4. Harrison AUS 2:12.88
5. Malek CZE 2:13.20
6. Salyards USA 2:13.27
7. Bernard FRA 2:13.31
8.Mitchell AUS 2:14.00

The Italian juggernaut just keeps rolling along. Two nights ago, Domenico Fioravanti became Italy's first Olympic gold medalist ever when he won the 100 breast. Tonight he annexed Italy's second gold medal, winning the double century as his teammate, Davide Rummolo took the bronze. Sandwiched between the two Italians was South Africa's Terrence Parkin.

Fioravanti's time is the second fastest in history. Only Mike Barrowman's world record 2:10.16 from the Barcelona Olympics is faster. Fioravanti becomes the first man to win both breaststrokes at an Olympic Games.

Australia's Regan Harrison swam a lifetime best but finished fourth, just 15-hundredths out of a medal. Kyle Salyards, the only American finalist, was in the hunt until the final few strokes. Though he was sixth, he was only half a second from the medal podium.

Women's 100 Free semi-finals

1. De Bruijn NED 53.77 World Record
2. Thompson USA 54.40
3. Torres USA 55.02
4. Moravcova SVK 55.06
5. Muller RSA 55.24 South African record
6. Van Rijn NED 55.28
7. Alshammar SWE 55.31
8. Minamoto JPN 55.62

If the Italians have a juggernaut, the Dutch–and particularly the members of the Einhoven Swim Club–must possess a mega-juggernaut. Last night Pieter van den Hoogenband took the men's 100 meter freestyle into another dimension in winning his semifinal heat in a world record 47.84. Tonight, his teammate, Inge De Bruijn, lowered her own world mark in the women's 100 free when she won her semi heat in 53.77.

The US duo of Jenny Thompson (54.40) and Dara Torres (55.02) qualified second and third, while Slovakia's Martina Moravcova was fourth (55.06). Sweden's Therese Alshammar barely made it into the finals, qualifying seventh.

Men's 200 Back Semi-Finals

Top 8 advance to Finals:

1. Krayzelburg USA 1:57.27 Olympic Record
2. Peirsol USA 1:58.44
3. Welsh AUS 1:58.57 Australian record
4. Arnarson ISL 1:58.99
5. Florea ROM 1:59.44
6. Kozulj CRO 1:59.56
7. Romero BRA 1:59.69
7. Strahija CRO 1:59.85
8. Merisi ITA 1:59.78

Lenny Krayzelburg, swimming capless and in a traditional suit, qualified first in the men's 200 back, breezing to a new Olympic record of 1:57.27, more than a second under the mark (1:58.40) he established in prelims yesterday. His 17 year-old teammate, Aaron Peirsol, was second fastest at 1:58.44, while Matt Welsh set an Australian record in qualifying third. All eight finalists broke the two-minute barrier.

Women's 200 Fly Finals

Gold – Hyman USA 2:05.88 Olympic, American Record
Silver – O'Neill AUS 2:06.58
Bronze – Thomas AUS 2:07.12

4. Jacobsen DEN 2:08.24
5. Jedrzejczak POL 2:08.48
6. Sandeno USA 2:08.81
7. Nakanishi JPN 2:09.66
8. Nakanishi JPN 2:10.72

Calm, confident and "enjoying the moment," America's Misty Hyman did the unthinkable tonight–she beat Australia's Gold Girl, the unbeatable Susie O'Neill in her best event and on her home turf. In the process, she clocked 2:05.88–the second fastest time in history–breaking Mary T. Meagher's Olympic and American records.

Hyman led almost the entire way, splitting a mind-boggling 59.91 at the 100–which kept her barely ahead of Australia's Petria Thomas and O'Neill. At 150 meters she was still 27-hundredths ahead of world record pace but just a stroke ahead of the two Aussies.

Everyone in the building–no, everyone south of the equator–expected O'Neill to make her move on the final lap, but Hyman would not give in. She was in the Zone. As she hit the pads, the unimaginable had happened: Hyman had won. And O'Neill was second.

Even Misty could not believe it. "I had to look three times, and Kaitlin (Sandeno, her teammate in the next lane) was like, 'you did it, you did it.' Finally I realized I won and then I started screaming and shaking."

Men's 100 Free Finals

Gold – Hoogenband NED 48.30
Silver – Popov RUSS 48.69
Bronze – Hall USA 48.73

4. Klim AUS 48.74
5. Walker USA 49.09
6. Fro Lander SWE 49.22
7. Pimento RUSS 49.36
8. Fiddler AUS 49.44

After Hoagie's world record performance in last night's semi-final, few thought he could be beat. The main question was: how much faster can he go? Turns out, (a) he didn't go faster, but (b) he could not be beat. Off to a slow start, he turned behind Australia's Michael Klim (23.12 to 23.16) at the 50.

In the second lap, though, the Flying Dutchman stroked smoothly away as double defending champion, Alex Popov of Russia, passed Klim, his training partner. In the final 50 meters, Gary Hall came smoking past Klim for the bronze, leaving the Aussie icon, who only four days ago became the world record-holder, with no medal at all.

Asked about accusations of drug use, Hoogie replied: "There are rules in this sport and one of them is you can't use performance-enhancing drugs. Every day I have to pee (for the drug testers), yesterday twice. It's almost impossible to cheat." Added Hall: "You can't accuse someone of using drugs just because he swims fast." Popov agreed.

Women's 200 Breast Semi-Final

Top 8 advance to finals:

1. Kovacs HUN 2:24.03 Olympic, European Record
2. Qi CHN 2:24.21 National Record
3. Bakaldina RUS 2:25.41 National Record
4. Kowal USA 2:25.45
5. Poewe RSA 2:25.54
7. Tanaka JPN 2:26.24
6. Luo CHN 2:25.86
8. Beard USA 2:26.63

Hungary's Agnes Kovacs lowered her European and Olympic records to 2:24.03, making her the second fastest woman all time, but she barely held off China's 15 year-old Qi Hui and Russia's Olga Bakaldina to take the top spot in the second semi final of the women's 200 breast. Qi's time of 2:24.21 makes her fourth fastest.

America's Kristy Kowal cruised to a victory in heat one in 2:25.45, as teammate Amanda Beard, the 1996 silver medalist, qualified eighth in what is easily the fastest field in swimming history.

Men's 200 IM Semi-Finals

Top 8 advance to finals:

1. Dolan USA 2:00.38
2. Rosolino ITA 2:01.14
3. Keller GER 2:01.23
4. Wouda NED 2:01.40
5. Sievinen FIN 2:01.46
6. Wilkens USA 2:01.51
7. Czene HUN 2:01.56
8. Marchand FRA 2:01.81

It took a sub-2:02 effort to make it into the finals of the men's 200 IM, with America's Tom Dolan holding down the top spot at 2:00.38. But in a very fast, very tight field, it will take a sub two-minute effort to win the gold. Italy's Massi Rosolino, the top prelim swimmer, is seeded second. World record-holder, Jani Sievinen, is fifth. Defending Olympic champ, Attila Czene of Hungary, is seventh. The second American swimmer, Tom Wilkens, survived the cut as he qualified sixth.

Women's 4 x200 Free Relay Finals

Gold – United States 7:57.80 Olympic Record
Silver – Australia 7:58.52 National Record
Bronze – Germany 7:58.64 National Record

4. Romania 8:01.63
5. Canada 8:02.65
6. Great Britain 8:03.69
7. Italy 8:04.68
8. France 8:05.99

Samantha Arsenault led off for the USA in 1:59.92, which placed her sixth. Susie O'Neill, springing back from her defeat in the 200 fly, had the fastest lead-off split, 1:58.70, putting the Aussies out front. Gian Rooney kept the home team ensconced in the top spot with her 1:59.37, but the USA's Diana Munz clocked 1:59.19, as the Yanks jumped to second.

In the third leg, the gap narrowed with the USA's Lindsay Benko going 1:59.34 to Kirsten Thomson's 2:00.13. Finally, Jenny Thompson caught Petria Thomas, splitting 1:59.35 to her tired rival's 2:00.32, to give the US a narrow win. Germany, sparked by 31 year-old Kirsten Kielgass's anchor leg of 1:57.90, took the bronze, almost catching the Aussies.