Lisogor Sets European Mark
22-Jan-2006 Craig Lord
Oleg Lisogor, the 26-year-old from Ukraine, stormed to a European record of 57.67sec over 100 metres breaststroke a day after establishing a new world mark over 50m on Saturday, which earned him a VW Golf as sole global standard setter at the Berlin round of the world cup.
Turning 0.06sec inside the world-record pace at halfway, in 26.99sec, Lisogor then slipped off the pace by a fraction on the way home despite making full use of the rule change that allows one (pretty vast) dolphin kick out of the turn. His missed by just 0.20sec the standard set by American Ed Moses in Stockholm in January 2002. In that same race four years ago, Russian Roman Sloudnov established a European record of 57.73sec.
Lisogor shaved down to shave 0.06sec off the Russian's mark just a few days after he could manage only 59.06 in Stockholm to finish second behind Hugues Duboscq. In Berlin, it was the Frenchman's turn to be runner-up, in 59.36, just 0.08sec ahead of another man from Ukraine, Igor Borysik.
"I can hardly feel my legs," said a delighted Lisogor. "I'm totally exhausted. I had my sights set on the world record but a European record is also fine. I'll race in Moscow but I don't think I'll be breaking any records there."
Lisogor earned l028 points for his effort, well shy of the 1089 points granted to South Africa's Ryk Neethling for a 100m medley effort that was not a world record but is in line to take the overall prize for best men's performance this season courtesy of a flawed points system that Fina has failed to update and appears to have no plans to do so withinin the next couple of years.
The much-awaited clash between Thomas Rupprath and American training partners Peter Marshall and Randal Bal over 50m backstroke ended in a home victory, 23.59 to Bal's 23.61 and Marshall's 23.71. Marshall will taper for the New York round of the world cup on February 3-4. The rivalry provided Berlin with the fastest time set in the event this world cup season but Ruppath had wanted more.
"The world record (23.27) was possible today," he said. "But I came out of the turn wrong." He would be quicker at the world short-course championships in Shanghai and said that on a "perfect day", a sub-23-second effort was possible. Meanwhile, Bal was back later to win the 200m in 1:52.53 a stroke ahead of Russia's Arkady Vyatchanin.
The men's 1,500 metres and wpomen's 400m freestyle produced close battles. Teenagers Lin Zhang of China and German's Paul Biedermann swam like cat and mouse all the way, not much more than a stroke between them throughout the 60 laps. The touch went to the mouse on this occasion, Zhang stopping the clock in 14:36.12, to Biedermann's 14:36.70, a German record that confined Jorg Hoffmann, now a coach in Potsdam, to history.
In 1min 54.53sec, Britain's Melanie Marshall had established a European short-course record over 200 metres on Saturday so it was no surprise to see her retain the edge for the first 250m of the 400 metres. At that point, Ai Shibata of Japan made her move and at one stage looked as though she might open up a decent gap.
But Marshall fought back, with American Rachel Komisarz hanging on just behind with Romania's Camelia Potec, who got to the final via a swim-off after the morning heats, alongside and took second place in 4mins 03.26sec, just 0.34sec behind the Olympic 800 metres champion.
There was less competition over 400m medley for Japan's Maiko Fujino but she still managed to clock the fastest 400m medley on the circuit so far, winning with relative ease in 4:32.98, to 4:37.98 for Poland's Kararzyna Baranowska.
Fujino's teammate Yuko Nakanishi took the 200m butterfly in 2:05.84, ahead of Chinese 14-year-old Jiao Liuyang, on 2:07.31, with Germany's Annika Mehlhorn, - employing a dubious flutter/freestyle kick out of turns that was studiously ignored by the turn judge - third on 2:07.61.
Just 0.79sec split the first five men home in the 200m freestyle, the touch going to Polish 20-year-old Pawel Kornzeniowski in 1:45.10, 0.03sec up on a best time for Paul Biedermann, the 19-year-old German racing at the edge over in lane 1. They were the youngest two in the race apart from the man who came last but gets ever faster, 16-year-old Wang Pengyuan of China.
Flying Dutchwoman Marleen Veldhuis notched up her fourth victory over 100m free on this year's circuit, in 53.20sec. Never faster than 53.13 and never slower than 53.28, the 26-year-old has been beaten just once - by powerhouse of the moment, Libby Lenton, in Sydney, the Australian clocking a time apart, of 52.17sec.
Still feeling the effects of a heavy workload at a recent training camp, Alena Popchanka, of France and now based with partner and coach Fred Vergnoux in Edinburgh, put in another solid performance for second in 53.80sec. Third was Finn Hanna-Maria Seppala on 53.83.
Tara Kirk, of the US, continued to dominate on sprint breaststroke, with a 30.52sec win over 50 metres, Britain's Kate Haywood sharing second place with Germany's Britain-based Janne Schaefer on 30.90. The race represented the first time 18-year-old Haywood has got the better of the British record holder, Zoe Baker, who now races for new Zealand. The formetr world record holder clocked 31.04 for fourth place.
As ever, Berlin was a class act, attracting far more nations and top swimmers than all other meets. The top of the points table went unchanged, however, Neethling still out ahead among men and Therese Alshammar leading the women's table from fourth place, given that Lenton, Coughlin and Jones ahead of her will not compete on all continents and are therefore ineligible for prizes.
There may be penalties to come too: Korea was missing from Berlin and Australia will miss New York because of their Commonwealth Games trials. World Cup host nations are obliged to field a team of four to avoid a fine, under Fina's rules.
Next stop: New York, February 3-4.
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