Teenager upsets Olympic medallists at swimming worlds
American teenager Brendan Hansen upstaged the Olympic gold and silver medallists Thursday, winning the men's 200-metre breaststroke at the world swimming championships.
Hansen won in 2:10.69 seconds, breaking the meet record of 2:11.23 set by fellow American Mike Barrowman at the 1991 championships.
Olympic gold medallist Domenico Fioravanti of Italy was fourth and Olympic silver medallist Ed Moses of the U.S. fifth, both more than 0.6 seconds behind the 19-year-old winner.
"This is unbelievable," Hansen said. "I knew I had a 2:10 in me.
"I just went into the race, and I didn't look around at all. I couldn't believe when I looked up that I was the winner," he added.
Dutch sprinter Inge de Bruijn became the competition's second multi-gold medallist, winning comfortably in the women's 50m butterfly.
With her second gold, however, de Bruijn still was well behind Australia's Ian Thorpe, who has won three individual golds, broken three world records and picked up a relay gold as well.
Thorpe lost twice to Dutch rival Pieter van den Hoogenband on Thursday, but van den Hoogenband's only reward was a chance to race the Australian again Friday for the 100m freestyle gold medal.
The morning after Thorpe beat van den Hoogenband by 1.75 seconds for the world championship in the 200m freestyle, and broke his own world record, the two were side-by-side in heats for the 100m.
Van den Hoogenband beat Thorpe 48.96 to 49.21.
Then in the evening semifinals, side-by-side again, the Dutchman needed a meet record 48.57 to win. Thorpe, in seventh at the halfway point, charged into second in 48.96.
American Anthony Ervin, Olympic gold medallist and world champion at 50m, won his semifinal in 49.43, with teammate Jason Lezak second in 49.49.
Van den Hoogenband beat Thorpe for gold at 200m in last year's Olympics, where the Dutchman also won the 100m -- an event where Thorpe is just starting to compete.
Jennifer Fratesi of Sault Ste-Marie., Ont., just missed a medal in the women's 200m backstroke.
Romania's Diana Mocanu, Olympic winner at 100m and 200m, claimed the gold in 2:09.94. Russia's Stanislava Komarova won silver in 2:10.43 and Britain's Joanna Fargus won bronze in 2:11.05, just ahead of Fratesi in 2:11.16. Fratesi broke her own Canadian record of 2:11.65, which she swam a day earlier in the semis.
"It's hard to come so close to a medal but looking back this was successful race for me," said Fratesi, a 17-year-old Canadian team rookie. "I know I have the potential to be number-one. There's definitely something more in me."
Amid the race program came the delayed medal ceremony for the women's 800m freestyle relay, after an appeals jury upheld the disqualifications of the first-place Australians and second-place U.S. quartet.
Britain accepted the gold, Germany the silver and Japan the bronze to the accompaniment of loud applause, especially for the Japanese. The decision bumped Canada to fourth.
The jury convened by FINA, swimming's world governing body, said Australia had clearly violated the rules when its swimmers jumped into the pool to celebrate before the last Italian swimmer had finished the race. The Australians had finished first in a meet record 7:56.00.
It also upheld the disqualification of the Americans on grounds their second swimmer started too soon.
The American team disagreed with the jury's finding that the timing devices "worked perfectly during the race." It said the touchpad in the Americans' lane had malfunctioned several times, and that videotape showed a proper start. It urged FINA to reconsider.
De Bruijn, who came to this meet with three Olympic golds and four world records, but no world championships golds, won her first Wednesday in the 100m freestyle.
In the 50m butterfly, a new event in the world championships, she won in 25.90 seconds, with two Swedes next. Therese Alshammar finished in 26.18 and Anna-Karin Kammerling in 26.45.
"It's never easy to win a world championship title," de Bruijn said. "I got a really good start and felt smooth in the water.
"When I touched I still had to look up to see if I'd won because the 50m is all about tenths of a second," said the Dutch swimmer, who won the 50m and 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly at the Olympics.
Sweden's Olympic champion Lars Frolander held off American Ian Crocker and Australian Geoff Huegill for gold in the men's 100 butterfly.
Michael Mintenko of Moose Jaw, Sask., was sixth, ahead of Australian star Michael Klim in seventh.
"I'm very disappointed," said Mintenko. "I came here with the full intention of winning a medal."
Klim refused to blame a recent ankle injury in an impromptu basketball game.
"The race was there for the taking, but my start was off and it just didn't happen," he said.
Olympic gold medallist Massimiliano Rossolino of Italy came from behind over the last 100 metres to win the men's 200-metre individual medley in 1:59.71. American Tom Wilkens, the Olympic bronze medallist, took silver in 2:00.73, with Australia's Justin Norris third in 2:00.91.
Calgary's Curtis Myden was eighth in 2:02.42.
"I'm pleased with my effort," said Myden, who took some time off this year. "I only started training for this in May and to make the final and better my result from Sydney is satisfying."
Marianne Limpert of Fredericton missed the final in the women's 200 IM.
"I just felt all week, even in the freestyle races I did, that I wasn't on," said the 1996 Olympic silver medallist. "I can't pinpoint what went wrong. I'm just going to look ahead now to the nationals and Goodwill Games."