Sun, Nov 30, 2003 - Page 23 News List

Leisel Jones on big roll


Australian Leisel Jones races to her seond world record win in the 200m breaststroke women's final during the World Cup Swimming in Melbourne, Saturday.


Australian Leisel Jones broke her second short-course world record in as many nights, taking the spotlight off American Michael Phelps with victory in the 200m breaststroke at a World Cup meet yesterday.

Jones powered through the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Center pool in 2 minutes, 17.75 seconds, bettering the previous mark of 2:18.86, set by China's Qi Hui in Shanghai in December of last year.

Phelps was just outside the short-course world record in winning the 200-meter individual medley, his second win of the night and fourth in two nights.

Phelps, who set five world records at the world championships in Barcelona, Spain, this year, won in 1:54.85, just 0.20 outside the nine-year-old world mark held by Jani Sievenen of Finland.

"I was hoping to do it but I fell a little short," said Phelps. "It gives us something to work for."

Phelps also won 200m backstroke in 1:51.40. He beat Australian Matt Welsh (1:52.18) and Germany's Sebastian Halgasch (1:54.88).

Jones broke Swede Emma Igelstrom's 100m world mark by two-hundredths of a second on Friday, with a time of 1:05.09.

Jones, who beat compatriot Brooke Hanson (2:22.03) and American Amanda Beard (2:22.33), described Saturday's record as "pretty amazing" after having felt "shocking" in the morning heats.

"I'm really quite shocked," Jones said. "I wasn't feeling too crash hot this morning, but it all worked out. The last 50 was quite amazing. I thought either Amanda Beard is catching me or I'm under world record pace."

Jones said she had gone into the race relaxed and this had helped her to her second world mark.

"I just wanted to get out there and relax and that helped me, I had no expectations," she added.

Jones said after the first 100m of Saturday's final that she had slowed marginally because she was well out in front.

"I kept my stroke controlled and made it as easy as possible on myself. I was able to come back in the last 100m."

American Lindsay Benko, the world record holder in the 400m freestyle, celebrated her 27th birthday with victory in the event in 4:02.29. Benko was outside her world mark of 3:59.53 but pulled away in the last lap to beat Australians Elka Graham (4:02.33) and Kasey Giteau (4:07.21). American Ed Moses, the short-course 200m breaststroke world record holder, finished third in the 100m event.

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