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Saturday, November 23, 2002
Coughlin sets marks in 100 breaststroke, 100 IM

Associated Press

EAST MEADOW, N.Y. -- University of California swimmer Natalie Coughlin set two more world short-course records Saturday in the FINA World Cup Series.

Coughlin, winner of the last two NCAA swimmer of the year titles, set her first world record Saturday in the 100-meter backstroke in 56.71. She broke her own record of 57.08 set last Nov. 28.

A little more than an hour later, she set another record, finishing the 100 individual medley in 58.80 seconds, breaking Jenny Thompson's 1999 record of 59.30.

''The individual medley is a fun event for me,'' said Coughlin, who has won nine U.S. national titles. ''I'm not normally a big fan, but I'm taking a lot of pride in it right now.

''Coming into this race, my fly, backstroke and free were good but the breaststroke was the oddball.''

That gave Coughlin three records in the five events she competed in during the two-day competition.

Friday, she set a record with a 56.34 in the 100 butterfly. She also set an American mark of 27.08 in the 50 backstroke and concluded with a gold medal effort of 2:05.76 in the 200 backstroke.

''This is my third meet in this pool, and the first was the worst of my career,'' she said. ''The last two however, have been my best. Frankly speaking, I never expected to set a world record in the backstroke.''

Thompson, a seven-time Olympic gold medalist, won the women's 100-meter freestyle in 53.54. Thompson is a medical student at Columbia University.

Two-time Olympian Amanda Beard set an American record 2:21.42 in the 200 backstroke, breaking the record of 2:22.05 set by Kristy Kowal in 2000.

Peter Van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands established a U.S. Open record of 1:43.54 in the 200 freestyle, breaking Ryk Neething's record of 1:43.90.

Germany's Thomas Rupprath missed his world record of 50.10, posted last Jan. 27, in the 100 butterfly, but settled for a U.S. Open mark of 51.17. That topped the 51.23 record set by Adam Pine in 2000.

Jason Lezak earned his second gold medal of the meet, winning the 50 freestyle in 21.66. Michael Phelps, a 2000 Olympian, avoided being shut out by taking the 200 individual medley in 1:57.12.