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Kukors, Queen Of The Short Medley

Dec 17, 2010  - Craig Lord

Dubai, world s/c championships, day 3 finals

Women's 100m medley

On a championship record of 58.65 in semis, Ariana Kukors (USA) backed up with a 58.95 victory in a tight tussle with Kotuku Ngawati (AUS), on 59.27 for silver, the bronze going to world record holder from 2009 Hinkelien Schreuder (NED), in 59.53. 

Kukors, coached by Sean Hutchinson, said: "It went really well, I just tried t stay focussed on my own swim. It was a really good race and I had a lot of fun with it." Asked about the time, she said: "I was a little tited after my double swim yesterday and I'm in around 10 events so it's hard but I just wanted to get as much experience as possible."

The result:

  • Kukors    58.95
  • Ngawati   59.27
  • Schreuder 59.53
  • Jane Trepp (EST) 59.85
  • Theresa Michalak (GER) 59.97
  • Evelyn Verraszto (HUN) 1:00.19
  • Melissa Franklin (USA) 1:00.75
  • Francesca Segat (ITA) 1:01.29 

Schreuder took silver behind Verrsazto at the European s/c championships in Eindhoven two weeks ago. Some Europeans are noting that they have gone slightly over the top and are no longer able to race at peak. LEN, the European body, is believed to be on the verge of shifting its annual winter short-course showcase event to every second uneven year in the wake of FINA's decision to move its world s/c championships to a permanent December home on the calendar in even years.

History in the making:

World s/c Podiums

  • 2010: 58.95; 59.27; 59.53
  • 2008: 59.58; 59.62; 59.77
  • 2006: 1:00.16; 1:00.74; 1:01.41

Most world titles in this event:  3

  • Martina Moravcova (SVK) 1999, 2000, 2002

Records (TB = best ever in a textile suit)

  • WR: 57.74 Hinkelien Schreuder (NED) 15.11.10
  • TB: 58.65 Ariana Kukors (FRA) 17.12.10 

Most world records in this event (since specific 25m records began in 1991): 2

Martina Moravcova (SVK) 1998-99; Jenny Thompson (USA) 1999-2002

All-time textile rankings top 5:

  • 58.65 Kukors Dubai 2010
  • 58.80 Coughlin 2002 
  • 59.18 Ngawati Dubai 2010
  • 59.29 Seebohm 2010
  • 59.29 Schreuder 2010

From the archive:

The winner of the first three titles, Olympic medallist Martina Moravcova, now 35, gave birth this year to her first child, a daughter by the name of Karolina. Moravcova competed at five successsive Olympic Games. At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona at 16 and the youngest member of the Czecho-Slovak Olympic team, she finished 18th in the 100 free. Four years on she missed the 200 free final by 0.09sec. She wanted more. During her collegiate career (1995-99) and post graduate period (1999 to present) at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, she was coached by Steve Collins. She ended her collegiate carrier as one of the most decorated female swimmers in the NCAA’s history, with 10 individual and 4 relay titles, winning the 200 yard freestyle four years on the trot. She then struggled. Medical tests revealed that she was suffering Grave’s disease - an autoimmune thyroid disorder, also called hyperthyroidism. A year before the 2000 Sydney Games, she had her thyroid gland removed. At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games she fell  0.08sec shy of winning the 200m free, the crown going to Susie O'Neill (AUS). Moravcova also returned home with 2 silver medals and 2 fifth places. In 2004, she raced in two finals but missed the podium. In short-course waters at world and European levels her record is one of the most impressive in the sport and includes the 2004 world title over 100m butterfly. She won 65 international medals (all in the individual events), including 7 world titles and 22 European titles (19 short course, 3 long). In Beijing, the 32-year old brought her career to a close 16 years after walking out for Olympic racing for the first time.