World Cup, Belo Horizonte: Ous Mellouli Scores Tough Double

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BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil, October 12. OUS Mellouli of Tunisia pulled off a pretty tough double with a back-to-back wins in the men's 1500 free and 200 free to finish off the Belo Horizonte, Brazil stop of the 2008 FINA World Cup. South Africa's Katheryn Meaklim and Australia's Marieke Guehrer also scored a pair of gold medals during the final day of action.

The Brazilians also posted several top performances in front of a partisan crowd as Cesar Cielo and Fabiola Molina walked away with national records.

Men's 1500 freestyle
Although he had a bit more competition than he might have planned, Olympic 1500 free gold medalist Ous Mellouli of Tunisia emerged victorious from the event in the shorter course.

Trailing throughout large portions of the race, Mellouli had enough in the tank to win with a 15:16.43. Brazil's Luiz Arapiraca gave him nearly all he could handle with a second-place 15:16.91. Brazil's Armando Negreiros wound up third in 15:22.15.

Women's 100 freestyle
Australia's Marieke Guehrer picked up the sprint gold with a top time of 53.27, taking the victory out of lane three.

Sweden's Josefin Lillhage finished second in 53.49, while Brazil's Tatiana Lemos-Barbosa wound up third in 54.34. Brooke Bishop of the U.S. placed fourth in 54.47.

Men's 200 freestyle
Ous Mellouli bounced right back from his 1500 free victory to walk away with gold in the 200 free. He touched in 1:44.58 using a strong back half swim for the win.

Brazil's Rodrigo Castro finished second in 1:46.32, while Australia's Kyle Richardson rounded out the podium in 1:46.68.

Women's 50 breaststroke
Russia's Valentina Artemyeva touched out Tara Kirk of the U.S., 30.78 to 30.89, in the sprint breast event.

Sweden's Rebecca Ejdervik completed the top three with a time of 31.30 for third place.

Men's 100 breaststroke
Australia's Christian Sprenger put on a show in the men's 100 breast. He rocketed to a winning time of 58.19, not far off the world record of Ed Moses set with a 57.47 back in 2002.

Brazil's Felipe Lima took second in 59.80, while countryman Eduardo Fischer finished third in 1:00.08. Lima just missed Fischer's national record of 59.30 set in 2003.

Women's 400 IM
South Africa's Katheryn Meaklim cruised to victory in the longer distance medley when she topped the finale in 4:38.11.

Brazil's Joanna Maranhao-Melo grabbed second-place honors with a time of 4:41.24, while Australia's Jackie Staples wrapped up the top three spots with a time of 4:44.29.

Men's 100 butterfly
Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin just missed his national record of 50.44 set last December, but still wound up winning comfortably in 50.86.

Brazil's Thiago Pereira took second with a time of 52.05, while compatriot Guilherme Santos touched third in 52.53.

Women's 100 backstroke
Brazil's Fabiola Molina used a superior back half to track down the title in 59.07. That readout came up just short of Molina's national record time of 58.98 set last November.

Australia's Sophie Edington could not keep her front end speed and wound up second in 59.31, while Colombia's Carolina Henao finished third in 59.46.

Men's 50 backstroke
2007 World Cup Champion Randall Bal of the U.S. bounced back from his first backstroke loss in the World Cup in a year with a triumph in the sprint back. He clocked a time of 23.87 to take top billing in the event.

Russia's Stanislav Donets, who delivered Bal's loss yesterday, took second in 24.21, while Brazil's Daniel Orzechowski placed third in 24.84.

Women's 200 butterfly
South Africa's Mandy Loots claimed the crown in the event with a time of 2:09.78, while teammate Katheryn Meaklim just held off a stiff challenge for second.

Meaklim touched out Australia's Jackie Staples, 2:10.92 to 2:10.99, for the runner-up prize money.

Men's 200 IM
Thiago Pereira of Brazil knew no peer in the shorter medley when he cruised into the gold medal with a time of 1:56.33.

Teammate Henrique Rodrigues collected second place in 1:58.70, while Tunisia's Ous Mellouli finished third in 2:10.59 to demonstrate some sprinter speed.

Women's 400 freestyle
South Africa's Katheryn Meaklim, back in the water after a short break from the 200 fly, grabbed the middle distance title with a time of 4:14.95.

Brazil's Isabelle Longo finished second in 4:15.73, while countrywoman Amanda Macedo placed third in 4:21.78.

Men's 50 freestyle
Olympic gold medalist Cesar Cielo matched the Brazilian record in the sprint free with a time of 21.32. The time matched the 21.32 set by Santos back in 2004.

Sweden's Stefan Nystrand claimed second with a swift time of 21.50, while Santos placed third in 21.53.

Women's 200 breaststroke
In an exciting finish, Tara Kirk of the U.S. touched out Valentina Artemyeva of Russia, 2:27.00 to 2:27.06, for the 200-meter title in what had become a back-and-forth breaststroke rivalry this weekend.

Brazil's Tatiane Sakemi hit the wall in 2:31.52 to take third-place money.

Women's 100 IM
With Rebeca Gusmao now banned for life due to doping violations, many of her records could be considered drug-tainted. One of those went down as Brazil's Fabiola Molina blazed to a time of 1:01.52 in the sprint medley. That time cleared Gusmao's 2004 record of 1:02.09.

Sweden's Josefin Lillhage placed second in 1:01.93, while South Africa's Mandy Loots took third in 1:02.35.

Men's 200 backstroke
The Bal-Donets rivalry should be a fun one to watch if both swimmers decide to compete throughout the World Cup circuit this season. Randall Bal of the U.S. had just a bit more in the tank in the longer backstroke when he touched in 1:54.11.

Stanislav Donets of Russia, meanwhile, finished second in 1:54.62. Germany's Lucian Hassdenteufel rounded out the podium in 1:58.20.

Women's 50 butterfly
Australia's Marieke Guehrer blasted the sprint fly to wrap of competition at the Belo Horizonte stop of the World Cup. She ripped off a winning time of 25.63, within the realm of the World Cup standard of 25.36 and compatriot Felicity Galvez' global standard of 25.32.

Sweden's Therese Alshammar took second with a time of 26.09, while Brooke Bishop of the U.S. finished third in 26.40.

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