FINA World Cup 10

Klochkova Now World Leader In 400 IM


Nick Thierry

PARIS-Georges Vallerey pool, Les Tourelles, is the traditional venue for France's World Cup meeting, with 39 countries represented-the largest number so far.

Yana Klochkova (UKR) swam the fastest time of the year in winning the 400 IM. Her 4:33.66 was a new World Cup meet record and puts her sixth on the all time fastest list. It was her second IM World Cup meet record as she bettered the 200 IM time with 2:10.80 in Glasgow the previous weekend. Yasuko Tajima (JPN) touched second in the 400 IM in 4:38.13, ahead of Joanne Malar (CAN) in 4:38.13, who won four of the previous nine World Cups. Susan Rolph (GBR) won the 100 IM in 1:01.98 over Natasa Kejzar (SLO) in 1:02.90 and Klochkova in 1:03.03.

Yana Klochkova (UKR) set World Cup records for both IM events
Click image for larger photo. Photo © Marco Chiesa

Susan O'Neill (AUS) attacked her own four-day-old world record in the 200 fly and just fell short with a 2:05.70. A comparison of her splits:

Malmo 28.34 0:59.85 1:32.22 2:05.37
Paris 28.36 1:00.05 1:32.31 2:05.70

It was the top performance of the Paris World Cup and O'Neill's fifth consecutive win in this event.

Other highlights included Sue Rolph (GBR) winning a well-paced 100 freestyle in 54.51. On the first day, Mette Jacobsen (DEN) won the 200 freestyle in 1:58.47. Less than 15 minutes later, Jacobsen also took the 100 fly in 59.92, over Junko Onishi (JPN) in 1:00.06 and Susan O'Neill (AUS), whose time of 1:00.15 was slower than her 100 split in her Malmo 200 fly world record race.

Christopher Fydler (AUS) won the 50 free in 22.01, the second fastest time of the current World Cup series. Americans battled for the next spots as Sabir Muhammad touched in 22.28 ahead of Brad Schumacher in 22.30. Muhammad also won the 50 fly on the first day in 23.51.

Jorg Hoffmann (GER) won the 1500 freestyle in 14:45.79, with Luiz Lima (BRA) in second in 14:58.23. Hoffman earlier won the 400 free in 3:43.36, his fastest time this year.

Zoe Baker's (NZL) win with 31.54 in the 50 breaststroke surprised Samantha Riley (AUS), who was second with 31.66. But Riley extended her win streak in the 200 breaststroke to five with 2:25.28. Karine Bremond (FRA) challenged a tired Riley and her second-place time of 2:25.97 was a national record.

In the men's 100 breaststroke, Fred deBurghgraeve (BEL) touched first in a tight finish in 59.90 to Jens Kruppa's (GER) 59.92. On the first day, deBurghgraeve won the the 50 in 27.73. Zhu Yi (CHN) won his third consecutive 200 in 2:10.68, the fastest winning time in this year's World Cup. Kruppa came a close second in 2:10.74.

James Hickman (GBR) won the 100 fly in 51.94 over Franck Esposito (FRA), a crowd favourite. Esposito's 52.21 was just ahead of Sabir Muhammad's (USA) 52.25. Hickman cruised to a 1:55.20 win in the 200 fly.

Tomislav Karlo (CRO) won his first 50 backstroke in 25.02 after medalling six times in previous World Cups this winter. Adam Ruckwood (GBR) won his first 200 backstroke in 1:57.59. He'd been third twice in the current World Cup series. A surprising winner in the 100 backstroke with 53.63 was 27-year-old butterfly specialist Franck Esposito (FRA).

Antje Buschschulte (GER) won the 100 in 1:00.05 to sweep all the backstrokes in Paris. Alena Nyvltova (CZE) was second in 1:01.16 and Roxana Maracineanu (FRA) third in 1:01.48, bettering her own French national record of 1:01.60 from 1997. Buschschulte won the 50 backstroke in 28.42, and the 200 in 2:09.47. Buschschulte has 11 first-place finishes in five World Cups.

Tom Wilkens won the 400 IM in 4:13.76, improving his Malmo winning time by over a second. It was not an easy victory for the American swimmer, who was challegend by Christian Keller (GER), in second with 4:13.94. Mickey Halika (ISR), in third with 4:14.78, gave Israel its first World Cup medal this year. Christian Keller (GER) won the 100 IM event in 55.31 over Scott Tucker (USA) in 56.04. Keller added the 200 IM win with 1:59.64. The battle for second was between Wilken with 2:01.06 and Xavier Marchand (FRA) with 2:01.15.

Chen Hua (CHN) won her third consecutive 400 freestyle with 4:05.94, with Caroline Smart (GBR) in second with 4:08.37 and Kirsten Vlieghuis (NED) third with 4:08.51. Chen also won her third consecutive 800 free, in 8:30.17

The FINA World Cup continues in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on February 27-28, with the final competition March 3-4 in Imperia, Italy, where over US $210,000 in prize monies will be awarded for the top three in each stroke category for men and women. A bonus of $2000 for a world record (four have been established to date) is also available.