Other Sport News
Americans dominate with three titles and three records (Roundup)
By Peter Auf der Heyde Mar 29, 2007, 12:26 GMT
Michael Phelps (R, 1st placed) of the United States laughs at his countryman Ryan Lochte (2nd placed) wearing silver jewel studded teeth in his mouth as they hold their gold and silver medals at the medal presentation in the men\'s 200m individual medley at the FINA World Swimming Championships in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday 29 March 2007. EPA/BARBARA WALTON
Melbourne - Michael Phelps was a by now familiar leader as the United States won another three gold medals in world record time to their impressive victory list at the world championships.
Phelps once again had the honour of starting the proceedings as he smashed yet another world record en route to his fourth world championships title, winning the 200m medley title in 1 minute 54.98 seconds, 0.86 seconds faster than the previous mark.
The US got another world record from the victorious 4x200m women's freestyle relay and American Laila Vaziri equalled her own 50m backstroke world record from the previous day.
Hosts Australia rejoiced on Jessicah Schipper's 20m butterfly gold while the men's 100m freestyle saw a rare dead-heat, with Filippo Magnini of Italy and Canadian Brent Hayden each getting gold.
Phelps was in a world of his own again in the short medley race, finishing more than one second ahead of compatriot Ryan Lochte who clocked 1:56.19 minutes. Hungarian Laszlo Cseh took the bronze in a time of 1:56.92.
Phelps said that he goes into his race without any pressure.
'I honestly, when I'm behind the blocks, just try to clear my head and usually just have the last song that I've been listening to in my head. It's been the 'Go Getters' song the last couple of races.
'I am just happy to swim fast again and have my training work. I went out there and went after it. That is what I have been doing for every race. Why stop something that works?' said Phelps.
The American won his three individual world titles in world record times and also has a 4x100m freestyle relay gold. He has reached the halfway mark in his bid for an unprecedented eight titles at the championships.
Vaziri equalled the world record she established in the semi- finals the day before as she won the gold medal in a time of 28.16 seconds.
But Vaziri was not fully satisfied, saying: 'I'm happy but I wanted to go a little faster.'
Second place went to Belarus swimmer Aliaksandra Herasimenia in 28.46 seconds, while Tayliah Zimmer was a popular bronze medal winner for the hosts in 28:50 seconds.
There was, however, plenty to cheer about for the partisan crowd in the next race as Jessicah Schipper won the women's 200m butterfly for Australia in 2:06.39 minutes.
American Kimberly Vandenberg won the silver, posting 2:06.71 seconds, while the bronze went to Otylia Jedrzejczak of Poland in 2:06.90 seconds.
The near-capacity crowd went wild at the medal presentation as Schipper led the three medal winners on a lap of honour around the Rod Laver Arena accompanied by Men At Work's Down Under.
But Schipper, who holds the world record in the event, said that winning the gold was not the biggest highlight of her career.
'Close to it, but I wouldn't say it was the best. The world record was my best,' she said.
In the women's 4x200m freestyle relay, the US team of Natalie Coughlin, Dana Vollmer, Lacy Nymeyer and Katie Hoff led from start to finish as the broke Germany's world record by 0.73 seconds.
The US, who only just scrapped into the finals as eighth-fastest team, swam 7:50.09 minutes. Germany came second in 7:53.82 minutes while France anchored by Laure Manadou were third in 7:55.96 minutes.
Magnini and Hayden both posted times of 48.43 seconds for a rare double victory in the 100m freestyle. As they came out of the water, they immediately posed together for photographers holding up each others arms.
The bronze medal went to Australian Eamon Sullivan, who was just 0.04 seconds behind in a closely contested race.
When the Italian anthem was played during the medal ceremony, the crowd clapped in tune and Magnini said afterwards that he had felt very emotional.
'I was even more moved, when I saw that during the Italian anthem all the public were clapping their hands. An Italian won, and the Australian crowd clapped their hands as if I was one of them. It felt like being in Italy.'
Hayden, who was the first Canadian to win a gold medal at the championships since 1986, dedicated his victory to his late grandfather.
'This goes to my Grandad, he died shortly after we left for Australia and I told myself I would win a medal for him.'
The March 17 - April 1 competition continues on Friday with the finals of the men 200m backstroke, the 200m breaststroke and the 4x200m freestye relay, as well as the women's 100m freestyle and the 200m breaststroke.© 2007 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur