Thu, Jul 17, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Russia leads swimming medal table


The Spanish team performs during the synchronized free preliminaries at the 10th FINA World Championships in Barcelona on Tuesday.


Alexander Dobroskok already has two gold medals at the World Swimming Championships. And he has teammate Dimity Sautin to thank for both.

Dobroskok took his second gold in Tuesday's 3m springboard, taking advantage when Sautin -- who had been leading through the first five dives -- erred on his sixth and final effort.

Dobroskok and Sautin won a gold together in the 3m synchronized springboard on the first day of the championships on Sunday.

Dobroskok scored 788.37 points. China's Peg Bo took the silver with 780.84 followed by Satin with 776.64.

Through six events, Russia has three gold medals and three bronze and leads with six overall. Three other countries have three golds -- Australia, China and Italy.

Eight days of swimming in the main pool begin Sunday.

In women's preliminary water polo games on Tuesday -- Group A: Canada 7, Brazil 2; Australia 16, Britain 2. Group B: Russia 23, Venezuela 4; Netherlands 15, Japan 3. C: US 15, France 3; Germany 10, Greece 8; Group D: Hungary 11, Italy 10; Spain 7, Kazakhstan 4.

Three medal events were set for yesterday: women's 10m platform diving, and 10km open-water for men and women.

Away from the competition, two teams with vastly different goals -- the Netherlands and Iraq -- assessed their chances.

"Our expectations are high," said Dutch coach Andre Cats. "We have no injuries and everyone's in good shape."

The Dutch have two of the world's best sprinters in Pieta van den Hoogenband and Inge de Bruijn.

Van den Hoogenband won two golds at the 2000 Olympics -- 100 and 200 freestyle. But he's more motivated by his failings at the 2001 worlds in Fukuoka, Japan.

Two years ago, Van den Hoogenband finished second in four freestyle events.

"The last time I ended up with a lot of silvers," he said. "This time I want gold. I'm fitter than ever before."

Iraq's three-man swim team trained Tuesday for the fourth straight day.

That's possibly the most intense practice period in a year for Sarmad Mohamad, Zaid Saeed and Mohammed Abbas.

Finding a place to train in Iraq has been hopeless -- during the war, after the war -- and even before the war.

When American troops began occupying Baghdad in early April, Saeed said looters tore up Baghdad's only Olympic 50m pool.

"No bombs hit it," he said. "Really there wasn't anything to take from the swimming pool, but they took chairs, tables, broke the windows. They wanted to destroy anything."

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