Two more world records brought the total to ten after six days. The world records were in the men's 200 backstroke and women's 200 breaststroke. Australia did not win a gold this day but still led in the medal totals with 26 (11-9-6) to the USA's 25 (9-9-7). Canada was third with 10 (2-3-5).
Penny Heyns (RSA), in a class of her own, bettered the world record for the second consecutive day (her fourth in this event in 1999). Heyns was ahead of Kristy Kowal (USA) by half a body-length at the first turn, but with an incredible 100 split she increased that to a full body-length. At the finish, there was a two body-length margin of victory.
Of note were the great times by Kowal, in second with 2:25.52, and Sarah Poewe (RSA), in third with 2:25.90.
|Heyns||Aug 26||Aug 27||Kowal||Poewe|
"I'm shocked," Heyns said after saying a few words of post-race prayer as she lingered in the pool. "I was nervous. I hurt a bit more coming home than the other night, and now I know why.
"I'm just pleased that I've been able to handle the pressure because there were times before this event when I thought I was losing it and I really didn't feel like racing, but I managed to turn it around." And how!
It was a good bet that this event would have a new record as Lenny Krayzelburg (USA) had five of the 10 fastest times ever done prior to this race.
He was already half a body-length ahead of everyone after he emerged from the underwater start, and he just moved ahead of the world record pace at each turn.
The understatement of the night came from the new record-holder after the race, when he said: "I went out a little bit too fast but I'm still relieved and excited."
The crowd? "It's awesome-some say you can't hear it, but I certainly can. The people cheering just gives you that extra second wind where you can call on it in the last 25. I'm definitely going to be here next year."
Jenny Thompson (USA) was the easy winner in this event, an event where in 1992 she held the world record briefly. Now better known as a flyer, she is also the world's best in this event.
After the start, she held a half body-length lead at the 25 and turned first at 50 in 26.47. She powered home in 54.89. Sarah Ryan (AUS) was second throughout, turning in 26.88 to finish in 55.58, a personal best. Rebecca Creedy (AUS), only sixth at the turn, moved up on the field to pick up a third in 55.90.
Laura Nicholls (CAN) just missed a medal, but her 55.94 was a Canadian record.
Crowd noise? "I didn't hear it. I just tried to get to the wall first," said Thompson.
And the ebullient silver medallist, Sarah Ryan, said: "I've never had a medal in a 100 m (internationally) before. I'm stoked."
Tom Wilkens (USA) helped to make it a good night for the Americans, with their third consecutive gold. Curtis Myden (CAN) and Matt Dunn (AUS) had their usual contest, but the Australian was not able to make up the lead in the second half as he did in the distance IM.
"I really worked on my race tonight," Wilkens said. "I wanted to get myself in a position to win. In my head I knew exactly what I had to do to win, and luckily I was able to do that. That is my best time by eight tenths."
Semi-final winners were Brendon Dededkind (RSA) with 22.14 in the men's 50 free, Tomoko Hagiwara (JPN) with 2:11.20 in the women's 200 back, and Geoff Huegill (AUS) with 52.45 and Michael Klim (AUS) with 52.76 in the 100 fly.