Petria Thomas Takes the 100 Fly, Inky Relegated to the Bronze with Mistimed Finish

By Stephen J. Thomas

ATHENS, Greece August 15. AUSSIE veteran Petria Thomas had been to two previous Olympics without winning a gold medal. But just two days into her third Olympics, the 28-year-old already has two gold medals – last night in the 400 free relay and now the 100 fly – with the real prospect of winning up to five with two relays and the 200 fly to come.

At the 2000 Olympics, Thomas finished in fourth place behind a world record performance by Dutchwoman Inge de Bruijn. Tonight it was a famous victory for a swimmer who has overcome three shoulder surgeries in her career.

It was de Bruijn who took the race out hard, well under her WR pace – a significant 0.23 of a second. Her strategy had been to burn off the field as she had done successfully yesterday in her semifinal. Inky turned in 26.44 but Thomas stayed within reach in 26.98.

The other top seed, Pole Otylia Jedrzejczak was way back in seventh place (27.53). Under the flags Thomas was catching De Bruijn, who looked to have discovered a piano on her back and misjudged her finish, having to take another stroke and leaving the door open for the Aussie and the flying Pole.

It was Thomas who got to the wall first in 57.72 with Jedrzejczak stealing the silver in 57.84 and de Bruijn third in 57.99.

After the race De Bruijn was gracious in defeat, bearing in mind it had been her first competition over the 100 fly since the Sydney Olympics. “I am happy with my performance. I don’t see it at losing the gold but winning the bronze,” she said.

An emotional Thomas said at her press conference, ”It all seems a bit surreal right now. It will take a few days to sink in. This is the sort of moment you dream of as a child, but I know I need to keep focused as I have other races ahead of me. I came into this meet knowing I would be competitive in both fly events but it has been a long road here. The injuries I’ve had along the way have only made me more determined to succeed,” she explained.

The times were slower than in the prelims and semis yesterday, due to the strong northerly wind that whipped up a chop on the pool surface.

Women 100m Butterfly Finals

Record Split Name NOC Location Date
WR 56.61 26.67
de BRUIJN Inge NED Sydney (AUS) 17 SEP 2000
OR 56.61 26.67
de BRUIJN Inge NED Sydney (AUS) 17 SEP 2000

Event No: 2

Rank Lane Name NOC R.T. 50m Time Time
1 5 THOMAS Petria AUS 0.71 (2) 26.98 57.72
2 3 JEDRZEJCZAK Otylia POL 0.78 (7) 27.53 57.84
30.31 0.12
3 4 de BRUIJN Inge NED 0.75 (1) 26.44 57.99
31.55 0.27
4 6 SCHIPPER Jess AUS 0.71 (6) 27.49 58.22
30.73 0.50
5 7 THOMPSON Jenny USA 0.77 (4) 27.39 58.72
31.33 1.00
6 2 MORAVCOVA Martina SVK 0.76 (5) 27.42 58.96
31.54 1.24
7 1 POPCHANKA Alena BLR 0.74 (3) 27.38 59.06
31.68 1.34
8 8 ONISHI Junko JPN 0.82 (8) 28.66 59.83

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