Potec Edges Franzi in Rome

ROME, May 30. ROMANIA's Camelia Potec, the 1999 European champion, out-touched world record-holder Franziska van Almsick of Germany in the women's 200 meter freestyle on the first day of competition of the Mare Nostrum meet in Rome. This is the fourth stop on the Mare Nostrum tour.

Potec clocked 1:59.25 to Franzi's 1:59.34. Close behind was 1996 Olympic and '98 world champion, Claudia Poll of Costa Rica, in 2:00.65.

The women's 100 meter butterfly was an all-South African affair with Mandy Loots setting a national and African record of 1:00.02. Her teammate, Renate Du Plessis was close behind in 1:00.66. Another South African, Sarah Poewe, took the 50m breaststroke in 31.91, winning by almost a second.

Yana Klochkova, Ukraine, continued terrorizing all the other medley swimmers on the circuit, this time taking the 400m IM in 4:42.76, nine seconds ahead of her closest pursuer.

The best men's race came in the 100 meter butterfly as Ukraine's Denis Silantiev defeated France's Franck Esposito, 53.02 to 53.30.

Australia's Grant McGregor won a close 400m IM battle, edging Romania's Cezar Badito, 4:19.46 to 4:20.82. Italy's Massi Rosolino took the 200m freestyle in 1:50.54, while Britain's Adam Whitehead out-stretched Italy's Domenico Fioravanti to take the 50m breaststroke, 28.54 to 28.60.