FINA World Cup 9

World Record For O'Neill


Nick Thierry

MALMO - With only one day of rest and most swimmers traveling from Glasgow on Monday, the World Cup show continued in the seven-lane Aqua Kul venue in Malmo.

It was supposed to be another routine 200 fly swim, another step in her preparation for the Short Course World Championships in about six weeks. But swimming well ahead of the old record pace, Susan O'Neill (AUS) finally achieved her long-term pursuit of Mary T. Meagher's short-course 200 fly record.

1981 Meagher 29.40 1:01.65 1:33.90 2:05.65
1999 O'Neill 28.34 59.85 1:32.22 2:05.37

"I did not plan it," O'Neil said. "I am very surprised. I did not think that I could set the record here. It's thrilling. Mary T. Meagher was such a legendary figure. I'm so pleased that I've got one of her world records. From now on I will aim at her long course world record in this event."

It was the seventh world record at one of the recent Malmo World Cups. It earned O'Neill a five minute standing ovation by the crowd.

In the women's 200 free, Laura Nicholls (CAN) won her first World Cup with 1:58.10. She was second in the 100 freestyle and third in the 50 freestyle.

Gustavo Borges (BRA) won the 100 freestyle in 48.16. It was the third win in this event for Borges in the current World Cup series. Borges also won the 50 free in 22.16 over Chris Fydler (AUS), who was second with 22.23. The two wins gave Borges the lead in the sprint category with 67 points.

Gustavo Borges (BRA) winner of the 50m and 100m freestyle
Click image for larger photo. Photo © Marco Chiesa

Samantha Riley (AUS) continued her sweep of the breaststroke events with wins in the 50 in 31.34 and the 200 in 2:24.40. The previous day she won the 100 in 1:07.29. On the weekend in Glasgow, she performed the same feat. Riley raced Penny Heyns (RSA) at both competitions. However Heyns retains the points lead in the category with 86 to Riley's 74.

Fred deBurghgraeve (BEL) is closing in on his goal to win the men's breaststroke category with a win in the 100 in 1:00.12. He won the 50 on the first day and now has 88 points. Zhu Yi (CHN) won the 200 breaststroke in a come-from-behind effort with 2:11.90 over Tom Wilkens (USA) in 2:12.01 and early leader Ryan Mitchell (AUS) in 2:12.47

Stev Theloke (GER) completed the backstroke sweep for the second consecutive World Cup. Theloke won the 50 in 25.06, the 200 in 1:56.10, and the 100 earlier in 53.85. He now has 94 points for the category.

Louise Ornstedt (DEN), 13, won the 100 backstroke in 1:01.04. Kelly Stefanyshyn (CAN) was second in 1:01.62. Earlier, Stephanyshyn won the 50 backstroke in 28.94 over Ornstedt with 28.98. In the 200 backstroke, Stefanyshyn prevailed over Cathleen Rund (GER), 2:09.37 to 2:09.72. It was their fourth match-up in the current World Cup series, with Stefanyshyn winning three of the four races.

Laura Nicholls (CAN) won 200 free after 7 medals on World Cup circuit
Click image for larger photo. Photo © Marco Chiesa

Chen Hua (CHN) took the 800 freestyle over Claudia Poll (CRC) with 8:27.16. They swam stroke for stroke for the first half, 4:16.60 to 4:16.70. Chen moved ahead and had a three-second lead at the finish. In the women's 400 freestyle, Chen Hua (CHN), with 4:04.78, claimed another win over Claudia Poll (CRC), who finished in 4:06.09. However, Poll moved ahead in the distance free category with 91 points.

Johanna Sjoberg (SWE), much to the delight of the crowd, showed absolute superiority in the 100 fly, winning in 58.15, a new national record, just 0.01 seconds faster than the one she set in Glasgow. Sophia Skou (DEN) and Susan O'Neill (AUS) touched the wall in 1:00.02 in a tie for second.

Tom Wilkens (USA) won the 400 IM in 4:14.88 over Christian Keller (GER) with 4:17.97, thanks to his overwhelming superiority in the second part of the race-the breaststroke and freestyle. Former Olympic IM gold medalist (Munich 1972) and local sporting hero Gunnar Larsson presented the medals.

Jorg Hoffmann (GER) was at his seasonal best, winning the 1500 free in 14:43.37 and the 400 free in 3:45.51.

Canada's women's individual medley trio of Joanne Malar, Marianne Limpert, and Carrie Burgoyne swept the 200 IM. Malar took the lead early and held off Limpert's strong freestyle leg, winning with 2:12.94. Limpert was second in 2:13.07 and Burgoyne third in 2:14.49. Malar added a win in the 400 IM with a time of 4:37.45 over Burgoyne with 4:40.21. Limpert took the points lead in the IM category with a win in the 100 IM in 1:02.18. Her total of 103 points is higher than anyone else.