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SWC 2011, Berlin day 2: Five more gold for USA

Swimming World Cup

BERLIN, Germany - The United States won five more events on the second day, consolidating their overall supremacy on the meet: Missy Franklin took gold both in the 100 free and the 100 back; Michael Phelps won the 200 IM – setting the best performance of the day with 952 FINA Points – and the 200 backstroke while Allison Schmitt took the 400 freestyle. This trio, plus Ryan Lochte, will represent the backbone of the American Olympic team at London 2012. The best performances occurred on the first day, when both a new world record and a World Cup record were set.

1500 FREE MEN. As the race developed Sergiy Frolov (UKR), the silver medallist at the 2010 Short Course European Championships, and Sebastien Rouault (FRA), the gold medal winner at the 2010 Long Course Europeans fought head to head for victory. The French prevailed in 14:48.31, with Frolov less than two seconds away, in 14:50.15. German Manuel Schwarz (CLB) was third in 15:03.18.

100 FREE WOMEN. American teenager Melissa Franklin achieved a victory of great significance over a prestigious field, which included the two latest world champions: Germany’s Britta Steffen (Rome’09, also Olympic Champion at Beijing ’08) and Denmark’s Annette Ottesen, gold medallist at Shanghai’11. Franklin won in 52.09 at the conclusion of a race where she was trailing behind, in control, in the first part – just 5th at the half race turn in 25.60 – and then she released all her power to win in 52.09, thanks to her fastest second part (26.49). Daniela Schreiber (Darmstadt Club) was second in 52.37 while Steffen and Ottesen placed respectively third and fourth, in 52.60 and 52.70, separated by just 0.10 seconds.

200 FREE MEN. Paul Biedermann, the home hero, ruled the race at ease and a clear cut win, in 1:42.42, over Chad Le Clos (RSA) who in the final strokes overtook Filippo Magnini (ITA) to win silver, in 1:43.64, just 0.1 second ahead of the Italian, who got the bronze.

50 BREASTSTROKE WOMEN. Valentina Artemyeva 30.04 (30.54), Jennie Johansson 30.12 (30.70) and Dorothea Brandt 30.18 (30.82) placed in this order: the same order they had occupied at the end of the preliminaries (preliminaries times in brackets) as the three fastest qualifiers.

. Xiayan Li (CHN) was ahead until half race but in the last ten metres Glenn Snyders (NZL) pipped them all to collect his second victory in this meet, in 57.82. Li was second in 58.02 and James Goddard (GBR) third with 58.22 (the Briton was the fastest qualifier from the preliminaries).

400 IM WOMEN. Izumi Kato (JPN) conquered gold in 4:31, ahead of Aimee Willmott (GBR) 4:34.27, and Jordis Steinegger (AUT), 4:34.50.

100 BUTTERFLY MEN. The short course world champion from Dubai’10, also five times European champion and short course world record holder, Evgeny Korotyshkin, of Russia, took gold in 50.04, ahead of USA’s Tyler McGill, second in 50.47, South Africa’s Chad Le Clos, third in 50.97 and Australia’s Geoff Huegill fourth in 51.08. Michael Phelps who recorded the second fastest preliminaries time with 51.47 scratched the final. Korotyshkin trains under coach Andrea Di Nino, with the ADN Swim Project team.

100 BACKSTROKE WOMEN. Third gold medal of the meet – second of the day for Melissa Franklin. The phenomenal American teenager won thanks to her already proverbial irresistible finish. Her time was of 56.73. Australia Rachel Goh was second in 56.99. Ukraine’s Daryna Zevina placed third in 57.55.

50 BACKSTROKE MEN. Chinese Feiyi Cheng surprised everybody from Lane 7 and won the backstroke dash in 23.79. Gerhard Zandberg (RSA) was second with 23.80 while Spain’s Aschwin Wildeboer was third in 23.83.

200 BUTTERFLY WOMEN. After the half race turn Hye Ra Choi, of Korea, went swiftly out in front and won in 2:04.48 Alesia Polieri, of Italy, was second in 2:07.02 while USA’s Allison Smith was third in 2:07.20. Former 200 metres world champion and world record holder Otylia Jedrzejczak, of Poland, strived to get back to the podium but narrowly missed it, finishing fourth in 2:07.38.

200 IM MEN. Michael Phelps’ determination to be back on top was once more evident in this race. The American was clearly in front throughout he race and won in 1:51.89, his 4th gold of the meet (2nd of the day). His time is worth 952 FINA Points and stands as the best performance of the day. James Goddard (GBR) was second in 1:52.57, with Japan’s Hidemasa Sano in third with 1:54.31.

400 FREESTYLE WOMEN. USA’s Allison Schmitt, 21, 186 cm tall, was always in front, leading at a fast pace and looking for victory, which she got with an excellent under 4-minute time of 3:59.71. This gold came minutes after she had won bronze in the 200 butterfly. Schmitt is Michael Phelps’ club mate at North Baltimore Aquatic Club, where she is also coached by Bob Bowman. Lotte Friis (DEN) was second in 4:00.29, with Schmitt’s compatriot Chelsea Chenault in third, in 4:00.85.

50 FREE MEN. Sergei Fesikov (RUS) dashed to victory in 21.45; Marco Orsi (ITA) 21.52, and Ari-Pekka Liukkonen (FIN) 21.54, were second and third respectively 0.07 and 0.09 seconds behind.

200 BREASTSTROKE WOMEN. Tiny 15-year old Janapese Kanako Watanabe won from lane eight in 2:20.03, resisting the furious attack brought to her from Australian Sally Foster, second in 2:20.58, and Danish Rikke Moller Pedersen, third in 2:20.91.

100 IM WOMEN. Francesca Halsall (GBR) won in 58.73 scoring 950 FINA Points. Missy Franklin tied for silver with German Theresa  Michalak (CLB), at 59.44.

200 BACKSTROKE MEN. Phelps was out in front from the start. No chances for the others. He ended his solitary race in 1:50.34. Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki managed to close on in the final lap and conquered silver with 1:51.37 ahead of Spain’s Aschwin Wildeboer, 1:52.09.

50 BUTTERFLY WOMEN. Therese Alshammar (SWE) collected her third gold medal in this meet with 25.18, well ahead of second and third placed, respectively Jeannette Ottesen (DEN) 25.50 and Dorothea Brandt (GER) 26.35.