Sat, Jul 10, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Hansen breaks 100m breaststroke record

OLYMPIC TICKET Brendan Hansen made up for his heartbreaking showing in the 2000 trials by eclipsing the record set by Japan's Kosuke Kitajima last year


Brendan Hansen comes up for air on his way to winning the men's 100m breaststroke final with a time of 59:30 seconds for a new world record at the US Olympic swimming trials in Long Beach, California, on Thursday.


Brendan Hansen set a world record to earn a spot on his first Olympic swimming team. Veterans Ed Moses, Brooke Bennett and Diana Munz found disappointment in the US trials.

Hansen broke the mark in the 100m breaststroke, dominating the field with a time of 59.30 seconds Thursday. He joined Michael Phelps as the first swimmers to set world records in the temporary pool built on the Long Beach shoreline.

Hansen made up for a heartbreaking showing in the 2000 trials, when he finished third in the 100m and 200m breaststrokes -- just missing the team in both events.

"I was racing the Brendan Hansen from the 2000 Olympic trials," he said. "I'm definitely looking forward to the Olympics. This is a stage I've never been on before."

Hansen's expected rivalry with Moses went flat when the Sydney silver medalist didn't make the team. Moses finished sixth, nearly 3 seconds behind Hansen.

"I haven't been feeling real good," said Moses, who believes he had food poisoning. "I'm not going to make that as an excuse. I hold myself accountable."

Hansen, who broke the US record he shared with Moses in the semifinals, went even faster in the final. He eclipsed the record of 59.78 set by Japan's Kosuke Kitajima in last year's world championships.

Moses has struggled with injuries since Sydney, and his time was actually slower than what he swam in the semis.

"I'm really disappointed," he said.

So were Bennett and Munz, the gold and silver medalists from Sydney who found themselves in the odd position of swimming the 400m freestyle in the far outside lanes.

"It was very surprising," said Munz, who couldn't remember the last time she didn't earn a coveted middle-lane assignment given to the fastest swimmers.

Bennett finished next-to-last in the eight-woman final. Munz rallied for third, but she was more than a full second behind second-place Kalyn Keller.

"It's upsetting, sad," Bennett said. "The trials are the most unpredictable meet you'll ever go to. It's 10 times harder than standing on the blocks at the Olympic Games."

Munz was lucky to even be in the final, having struggled to the ninth-fastest time in the semis. But Lindsay Benko dropped out to concentrate on the 200m free, opening up a spot.

"I have to put it behind me," she said.

Moses, Bennett and Munz have other chances to qualify for their second Olympic team.

Moses will try again in the 200m breaststroke today.

Bennett and Munz were to make attempts in the 200m freestyle yesterday and again in the 800m freestyle Monday. Bennett is a two-time gold medalist in the longer distance.

"That's really the most important one," she said.

Phelps and Natalie Coughlin cruised into their respective Friday night finals.

Phelps was the fastest semifinalist in the 200m free at 1:47.42, even though he wasn't happy with the time. He already made the team with a world record in the 400m individual medley Wednesday.

The 19-year-old from Baltimore wants to break Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals in the Athens Games.

Coughlin was the top qualifier in the 100m backstroke semifinals.

The men's 100m back final last night was to feature a stellar field, including world recordholder Lenny Krayzelburg and Aaron Peirsol, who has the second-fastest time ever.

The friendly rivals finished 1-2 in Sydney.

Peirsol had the fastest semifinal time at 54.22, while Krayzelburg, who underwent two shoulder surgeries since Sydney, settled for fifth at 55.05. Jeff Rouse, the 1992 Olympic champion who is attempting a comeback at 34, qualified seventh.

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