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Stockholm World Cup - Day 1 Report

Jan 18, 2005  - Anita Lonsbrough

Roland Schoeman set the World Cup in Stockholm alight with a world record in the 100m medley having narrowly missed the 100m freestyle mark in the opening event. In the medley he led from the start but was pressed all the way by his team mate Ryk Neethling. At the end of the four lengths just one tenth separated the South African pair. Schoeman's time of 52;51sec was 0;07 inside the figure set two years ag by Germany's Thomas Rupprath.

In the opening event Schoeman had stormed to the second fastest time everfor the 100m freestyle 46;45sec. The twenty-four year old who was a member of South Africa's gold medal winning 4 x 100m freestyle relay at the Athens Olympic Games last August was inside world record pace at the half way stage. His final time was just one-fifth outside Ian Crocker's world mark set last march but was 0;29sec inside the World Cup record held by Alexander Popov

Swedish swimmers Josef Lillhage and Therese Alshammar gave the home crowd something to cheer. Lillhage the world short course champion was determined not to be beaten in front of her home crowd. The twenty-four year old was never headed throughout the eight length race leaving the rest to battle for the minor places as she came home in 1min 55;40sec. Britain's Melanie Marshall chased her hard but in the end was happy to finish runner-up 1;16sec in arrears. Yang Yu China's world bronze medallist snatched the third spot a further 0;72sec behind. Romania's Olympic champion Camelia Potec finished a disappointing seventh in 1min 58;59sec.

Alshammar the world short course record holder led a Swedish one two as Anna-Karin Kammerling followed her home in the 50m freestyle. Alshammar won in 24;29sec 0;14 ahead of Kammerling. Britain's Alison Sheppard clinched third spot in what is her final world cup series. She will compete in Berlin later in the week and then make her final appearance in New York.

Japan dominated the men's 200m butterfly taking all three top places with just 0;85sec separating them. Leading the trio home was Olympic silver medallist Takashi Yamamoto in 1min 53;59sec. Hidemasa Sano took second spot and Ryo Takayasa third. Russia's Nikolay Skvortsov led the rest of the field home in 1min 54;53sec.

While Japan dominated one event it was Ed Moses who stamped his authority on the breaststroke races. He opened with a 26;75sec for the 50m finishing half a second ahead of Slovenia's Emil Tahirovic. In the 200m he was one and a half seconds ahead of the field at the half way stage but over the second half Australia's Jim Piper pulled up to within 0;7 of his 2min 05;00sec winning time.