FINA WC Day 15 - Swimming Final Events Report
Jul 27, 2003 - Nikki Dryden Photos by Patrick B Kraemer Nikki Dryden
Barcelona - 12,250 spectators came to watch the final night of swimming at the 10th FINA World Championships and none left disappointed; Michael Phelps made certain of that. He broke his fifth world record of the competition breaking the total of 4 set by Mark Spitz at the '72 Olympics. But what we will all eagerly wait for is to see if Phelps can break Spitz's other famous record of 7 Olympic gold medals next summer in Athens.
The USA won the medal race with 28 (11-12-5) over AUS in second overall with 22 (6-10-5) total. 24 countries won one or more medals.
Phelps and Hanna Stockbauer of Germany were named the Male and Female Athletes of the Championships.
Thomas Rupprath (GER) won his first world title in a world record time of 24.80. The top six men all swam best times, including Matt Welsh who picked up a silver in 25.01 and Gerhard Zandberg (RSA) who won bronze in 25.07. "I am extremely happy," said Rupprath. "I do not care about the time, I do not care about anything, I am just happy that I won."
Xuejuan Huo (CHN) won her third gold medal with her win of 30.67, while Brooke Hanson (AUS) had a strong swim to win silver in 31.13. Zoe Baker (GBR), the world record holder at 30.57 was well off her best, and only managed the bronze with a time of 31.37. Unlike the men's 50 back, all three medal winners were off their best times.
"I wanted to beat the world record," said Huo. "After the whistle I realized that my start was not terribly good. If I had had a good start I think I could have beaten the record, however I am satisfied because the important thing was to win gold."