Tuesday, September 19|
Malchow sets Olympic record in 200 fly
SYDNEY, Australia -- Spurred by rousing cheers of "Thorpey!
Thorpey!," Ian Thorpe gave the Australians a huge lead as they set
the world record in winning the Olympic 800-meter freestyle relay
It was the Aussies' second men's relay victory over the
Americans, who narrowly lost to the host country in the 400 free
relay last weekend.
Tom Malchow, however, gave the U.S. team reason to celebrate by
winning the 200 butterfly and lowering his own Olympic record for
the third time in two days.
His victory gave the Americans their sixth swimming gold medal
in four days.
The Aussie team of Thorpe, Michael Klim, Todd Pearson and
William Kirby won in 7 minutes, 7.05 seconds -- lowering Australia's
world mark of 7:08.79 set in August 1999.
Australian officials said Thorpe would swim the 400 medley
relay, with heats beinning on Friday. That means Thorpe gets
another chance to add to the three golds and the silver he's
already won at his first Olympics.
The U.S. team, comprised of Scott Goldblatt, Josh Davis, Jamie
Rauch and Klete Keller, took the silver in 7:12.64.
The Netherlands earned the bronze in 7:12.70.
Australia's record was the 11th world mark set or tied in four
days at the Olympic pool.
Thorpe led off and gave the Aussies a two-body-length lead over
the Americans after 200 meters. He failed, however, to break the
world record in the 200 free set by Dutchman Pieter van den
Hoogenband on Monday night, missing by nearly seven-tenths of a
The crowd of 17,500 at Sydney International Aquatic Center was
at its loudest throughout the race, then sang along as the public
address system blared Men at Work's hit "Down Under" afterward.
The United States endured another defeat in a relay event
dominated by Americans at the Olympics. They had won the 800
freestyle relay in 10 of the last 12 Olympics, including the 1996
"I'm so excited for the silver," said Davis, who won three
relay golds four years ago. "To me, it's the most special medal in
these games. Everyone swam their hearts out. I'm glad we had Klete
on the end. He's a big up-and-comer."
The Dutch, anchored by Van den Hoogenband, won their first
Olympic medal ever in the event.
In the 200 butterfly, Malchow, of St. Paul, Minn., was first in
1:55.35, bettering his own Olympic mark of 1:56.02 set in Monday's
Cristina Teuscher of New Rochelle, N.Y., added to the Americans'
haul with a bronze in the 200 individual medley. The United States
has 14 medals in four days at the Olympic pool.
In the 200 butterfly, Denys Sylant'yev of Ukraine won silver in
1:55.76. Justin Norris of Australia took bronze in 1:56.17.
Michael Phelps of Baltimore, a 15-year-old who is the youngest
male U.S. Olympic swimmer in 68 years, finished fifth in 1:56.50.
Malchow added gold to the silver he won in the same event in
Atlanta, where at 19 he was the youngest man on the U.S. swimming
Always a strong finisher, Malchow wasn't worried when he was
fifth at 50 meters, third at 100 meters and second to Norris at 150
"I stuck with my wits," he said. "When you're a competitive
person, it's hard to sit back and watch people ahead of you, but
you've got to pick your moments.
"You don't want to get too far behind in the game. It's not an
exact science. I still do some dumb things, but it usually works
Having lowered his Olympic record in the prelims and again in
the semis, Malchow fell 17 one-hundreths short of his world record
of 1:55.18 set in June at a meet in Charlotte, N.C.
"For four years, I've wanted that moment," he said. "The
world record was a little taste of how it was going to be, but that
was unreal. I can't think of anything better."
After trying basketball and baseball, Malchow had learned to
swim because he could do so inside, away from whatever pollutants
would bother his asthma.
Phelps followed his usual pattern of lagging well back early
but, this time, he failed to make much of a dent. He was eighth at
150 meters and pulled into fifth at the wall.
"I wish I was a little faster coming home, but I did my best,"
said Phelps, who was quicker in the preliminaries and semifinals.
In the women's 200 individual medley, Yana Klochkova won her
second gold of the games -- the first two in Ukraine's swimming
history. She won in an Olympic record 2:10.68, breaking the
8-year-old mark of 2:11.65 set by Lin Li of China.
Beatrice Caslaru of Romania took silver in 2:12.57. She claimed
bronze in the 400 IM, where Klochkova was the gold medalist
Teuscher won bronze in 2:13.32.
"I'm happy I stuck it in there for a medal," she said. "You
can't complain when you get a medal in the Olympics."
Gabrielle Rose of Memphis, Tenn., was seventh at 2:14.82, slower
than the personal best of 2:14.40 that she swam in the semis.
The evening began with a bang thanks to Van den Hoogenband. One
night after winning gold in the 200 freestyle, tying his own world
record, Van den Hoogenband broke the world mark in the 100
He swam 47.84 seconds, lowering Klim's mark of 48.18, which was
set during the lead-off leg of the Aussies' victorious 400
freestyle relay Saturday.
"Breaking the 48, making history, I'm so happy," Van den
Hoogenband said. "I was feeling very tired. I only got six hours
of sleep last night. Hopefully, I will get more sleep tonight and
beat 48 seconds again."
Klim swam in the previous heat and was almost a second behind in
48.80. Alexander Popov of Russia, the two-time defending Olympic
champion, was third-quickest in 48.84.
Neil Walker of Verona, Wis., qualified fifth in 49.04.
"It's amazing," Walker said of the Dutchman. "I can't even
fathom how fast that is. I'm sure he'll be faster tomorrow."
Gary Hall Jr. of Phoenix, the silver medalist in Atlanta, made
Wednesday's final by finishing sixth in 49.13. He called Van den
Hoogenband's swim "absolutely amazing."
"I don't know if anyone can catch him," Hall said. "Anything
can happen in an Olympic final. If you can get a ticket, you should
Australian Susie O'Neill touched off a raucous celebration by
winning gold in the 200 freestyle. The crowd chanted "Susie,
Susie" as O'Neill churned to the finish in 1:58.24.
"I tried not to listen because they were putting me off,"
O'Neill said. "I just closed my eyes and tried to swim my own
Martina Moravcova of Slovakia earned her second silver medal of
these games in 1:58.32. She won silver in the 100 butterfly Sunday.
Claudia Poll of Costa Rica, the defending Olympic champion,
settled for bronze in 1:58.81. She also won bronze in the 400 free
Sunday. The United States failed to advance anyone to the final.
O'Neill barely had time to dry off before she returned for the
200 butterfly semis. The world record holder led eight qualifiers
for the final in 2:07.57.
Misty Hyman of Phoenix was fourth in 2:07.96, while Kaitlin
Sandeno of Lake Forest, Calif., was sixth in 2:09.40.
Domenico Fioravanti of Italy led eight men into the 200
breaststroke final, qualifying first in 2:12.37. Kyle Salyards of
Lancaster, Pa., was third with a semifinal time of 2:13.38.
|The Australian men's 4x200 relay team celebrated Tuesday after winning gold in a world-record 7:07.05.|
Results -- Day 4