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News Round-Up

Jan 25, 2009  - Craig Lord


Japan: In Nishinomiya, Ryosuke Irie, fifth in the Olympic final back in August, set a national record of 1:54.74 in the 200m back at the Konami Open today. Irie, who turned 19 on Saturday, broke the record he set at the Japan Open last June by 0.03 at Konami Sports Club in Hyogo Prefecture.

Australia: Ken Wood's upsetting the apple cart Down Under again. "She's better than Jess", the 78-year-old coach is quoted as saying far and wide. The she is Vanessa Puhlmann, the latest 'fly ace to come out of the Redcliffe Leagues club pool that was at the centre of controversy when it emerged that Wood had been helping Liu Zige of China work towards her stardust performance at the Beijing Games ahead of his Aussie charge Jessica Schipper. Now, Puhlmann is knocking down Schipper's age-group records. "Faster than Jess and faster than Lucy (Olympic 200m champion Liu Zige)," says Wood. There's no holding back the truth.

Britain: David Davies, Olympic 1,500m free and 10km marathon medal winner, is backing calls to have the Queen (HRH Elizabeth II) honour the first Welsh woman to have swum across the English Channel. Jenny James swam into the channel history books on August 24, 1951 and is the only person to swim across the Bristol Channel and back again. The 81-year-old, from Rhydyfelin, Pontypridd, is now being treated for dementia in the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, near Llantrisant. "Anyone who does something like that has got something special about them," says Davies. He should know.