Tue, Jul 13, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Brendan Hansen sets another world record during trials

AP , LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA

Brendan Hansen set another world record at the US swim trials on Sunday, stealing some attention away from Michael Phelps.

Hansen won the 200m breaststroke with a time of 2 minutes, 9.04 seconds, beating the record of 2:09.42 set by Japan's Kosuke Kitajima at last year's world championships.

On Thursday, Hansen broke Kitajima's record in the 100m breaststroke.

"When I got in this pool for the first time, I definitely thought something special might happen here," Hansen said.

It did. The 22-year-old native of Havertown, Pennsylvania, became the first American since John Hencken in 1974 to hold the world record at both distances.

In other races, Jason Lezak won the 100m freestyle and gained the upper hand over rival Gary Hall Jr., who finished third. Hall still earned a trip to Athens on the relays, joining Gary Hall Sr. as the first father-son duo to make three Olympics apiece.

"I just qualified for my third Olympics and I'm really happy," Hall said. "I'd also like to start campaigning now for team captain."

In another testament to family ties, Kirk won the 200m butterfly to join older sister Tara on the US team. They are the sixth set of siblings to make the same team but the first sisters.

Ed Moses, who was America's dominant breaststroker at the Sydney Games, failed in his bid to return to the Olympics. Bothered by breathing problems, he struggled to a fourth-place showing, more than three seconds behind runner-up Scott Usher, who claimed the expected second spot on the team at 2:10.90.

"It's 100 percent disappointing," Moses said.

Then there's Hansen, the dominant college breaststroker over the last four years who peaked at just the right time. He even surprised his coach by eclipsing Kitajima's 200m record.

"We figured it would be two or three years down the line before anyone broke it," said Eddie Reese, who coached Hansen at Texas and will be part of the US staff in Athens. "The only way he could break it was to go out as fast as he went out. The 100m speed gave him the confidence to push his 200m out."

Hall made his third Olympic team in Long Beach, just as father did 28 years ago. At those trials, the elder Hall held up his son -- not yet 2 years old -- in the pool after qualifying for the Montreal Games.

``I have no recollection of that,'' Hall Jr. quipped.

But Lezak got the last laugh in this pool, a temporary outdoor structure set up at the Long Beach harbor. He went out strong -- under world-record pace at the turn -- and held on to win at 48.41.

Ian Crocker, who holds the world record in the 100m butterfly, earned the second individual spot at 49.06.

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