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Mare Nostrum - Canet - Day 3

Jun 7, 2001  - Neville Smith

Ian Thorpe Narrowly Misses World Record

The final day of the XIV Arena International Meet, the second in the 2001 Mare Nostrum Series once again was played out to a capacity crowd at Canet en Roussillon at the Europa Center on Thursday evening.

First up it was "the flying Dutchwoman" Inge du Bruijn and the rest in the 50m freestyle dash. Du Bruijn was out of the blocks in a flash and from then on it was a battle for the minor placing as Inky scorched her way to a new meet record of 24.85 smashing the 1997 mark set by China's Ying Shang of 25.55. Slovakian Martina Maricova led the rest of the field in a body length behind the phenomenal du Bruijn recording a time of 25.96 while Germany's Vivienne Rignall claimed bronze in 26.13.

The men's final saw Alex Popov rewrite the record books when he took, 14 off his 1992 mark of 22.31 when he claimed the tile comfortably in 22.96. In an exciting finish it was Algerian Salim Illes who went into the final as the top seed, who led the chasing pack into the wall, when he edged out South Africa's Ryk Neethling to claim the silver. Illes posted a time of 22.96 while Neethling had to be content with a 23.13.

The ladies 200 Individual Medley saw the indomitable Yana Klochkova post a 2:14.75 which eliminated Canadian great Joanne Malars'1999 mark of 2:15.38 from the record books. In another display of power the Ukrainian surged into an early lead and despite the attentions of Canadian Marianne Limpert, won the event comfortably. Limpert took the silver comfortably in a time of 2.17.86 from the powerful Shuang Liang who posted a 2:18.28. Canadian Carrie Burgoyne claimed 8th place with a time of 2:34.62.

Brian Johns is the toast of the Canadian squad when swimming from lane 3 he claimed the title with an awesome finish in the men's final in a time of 2:03.21 He was involved in an epic battle for the honors, with the Australian duo of Grant McGregor (2:03.21) and Robert van der Zant (2:03.69). Curtis Myden of Canada despite a fast last lap finished in fourth place in 2:04.68.

The 200m backstroke saw Australia's Clemintine Stoney upset the odds when she claimed the title in convincing fashion when she beat meet favorite, Nina Zhivanevskaya. Stoney was off the wall like a bullet at the start and despite a strong finish by the Spaniard the Aussie had done enough to win in 2:13.48. Zhivanevskaya recorded a 2:13.95 to secure silver while Toshie Abe claimed bronze in 2:15.85.

In the men's final it was the Croatia's Gordon Kozulj who claimed the title in a swift 1:59.26 ahead of Australian ace Ray Hass (2:01.71) and compatriot Marko Strahija (2:03.81). The tall Croat went out hard and despite the attentions of Hass and Strhija systematically opened up an unassailable lead to win comfortably.

The woman's 100m breastroke was yet another nail biting affair with Olympic medallist Amanda Beard from the United States, South Africa's Sarah Poewe and Nan Lou from China providing the excitement. Poewe was the quickest off the blocks and held a distinct advantage going into the turn. A determined Beard hunted her down with an awesome second lap but Poewe held on to claim the title in a new meet record of 1:08.80 with Beard collecting silver in 1:08.95. Both ladies were well under Poewe's meet record of 1:09.39 established last year. Luo had to settle for bronze in a time of 1:08.85 edging out Canadian Rhiannon Leier (1:11.21). Leiers'compatriot Kristy Cameron was placed eighth in 1:12.90.

The men's event provided yet another exciting finish when Canada's Morgan Knabe took it to Oleg Lisogor from the Ukraine and Russian Dimitri Komornikov. The Ukrainian went into the turn ahead of the pack with Knabe in close attention (29.13 / 29.71). With 15m to it was anyone's race with Komornikov and Australian Jim Piper in contention. But it was Lisogor who did enough to claim the title in 1:02.52. Komornikov took second place in 1:02.70 while Knabe had to settle for then bronze in 1:02.92, with Piper posting 1:03.03. Chad Thomsen of Canada finished in eighth place in a time of 1:05.57.

The 100m butterfly for woman was tense affair when Inge du Bruijn came head to head with Slovakian Martina Maravcova in an exciting clash. Du Bruijn held a slight advantage at the turn (27.51 / 27.68) but Martina came back with a determined second lap only to be edged into second place by the Olympic Champion. Both Inge (58.78) and Martina (58.80) went well inside the meet record of Jenny Thompson of 59.83 established in 1999. Russia's Irina Bespalova claimed the bronze in 1:00.82 while Canada's Audrey Lecroix had to settle for seventh position in a 1:01.45.

In the men's event it was Sweden's Lars Frolander who finished well to edge out early pacesetter Denys Sylantyev from Ukrain for the championship title. Frolander's time of 52.61 was yet another meet record eclipsing the Ukrainian's 2000 time of 52.91. Russian Vladislav Kulikov claimed the minor placing in a time of 53.45 when he edged out Canadian stalwart Michael Mintenko (53.64).

The ladies 200m freestyle saw Costa Rica's first lady of the pool, Claudia Poll win comfortably from Mette Jacobson (2:00.46) of Denmark and Australian Elke Graham (2:02.75). Despite her efforts Poll who posted a time of 1:59.35 was a tad off her meet record of 1:58.18 established in 1997.

The final event of the evening saw Australian superstar Ian Thorpe put on an awesome display of power swimming when he demolished the field with a phenomenal 1:44.97,a mere 0.31 off his world record that was established in March earlier this year. Despite the capacity crowd urging him on the modest Aussie fell short and based on this performance a new world mark should be in the offering later in the series. Compatriots Willaim Kirby (1:49.64) and Anthoney Matkovich (1:49.70) claimed the minor placing to ensure a clean sweep for the Australians. Canada's Brian Johns had to settle for fifth place in 1:52.42.

On this high note, the meet came to a close. Yet another successful leg of the Mare Nostrum Series, which saw many records being rewritten.

The Mare Nostrum Series moves to Rome where the meet begins on Saturday.