Mon, Jul 02, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Jones and Phelps win at Santa Clara


Australian Leisel Jones barely held off US Olympian Tara Kirk to win the 100m breaststroke, while Michael Phelps set a meet record in the 400m freestyle and also won the 200m backstroke at the Santa Clara Grand Prix on Saturday.

In the 50m free, Australian Eamon Sullivan held off world champion Ben Wildman-Tobriner to win in 22.30 seconds.

Jones and Kirk, who finished 1-2 at the FINA world championships at Australia in March, staged their second to-the-wall finish in seven days. Jones won the 100m breast at the Pan Pacific Invitational at Stanford on June 24, edging Kirk by 0.35 hundredths of a second with an outstretched hand at the wall.

She did the same thing on Saturday, winning in 1:07.09. Kirk finished in 1:07.35.

"We always seem to do that. I think we even did that at worlds," Jones said. "We've got a friendly rivalry sort of going on. It's good when you have a strong competition like that."

Australia's Sarah Katsoulis placed third while US swimmer Megan Jendrick, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist, was fourth.

Jones, who set a record when she won the 200m breaststroke on Friday in 2:24.46, led throughout the 100m breaststroke but Kirk came on late to push the two-time world champion over the final 20m. Jones touched the wall first, 0.26 hundredths of a second ahead of Kirk.

"She's the fastest woman in the world, there's no question about that," Kirk said of Jones. "She seems to be getting me at the walls a little bit [faster] so maybe I need to work on that."

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