Lochte off to blazing start at worlds

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Lochte off to blazing start at worlds

Ryan Lochte of the United States set a championship record with his first swim on the opening day of the 10th FINA World Short Course Championships here on Wednesday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 15 Dec 2010, 8:43 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:57 AM

The American clocked 1:42.38 to win his 200m freestyle heat, getting his medal campaign off to a winning start by shattering the previous long-standing record of 1:43.28 set by Australia’s Ian Thorpe in Hong Kong in 1999.

US swimmer Ryan Lochte competes in the men's 200m Freestyle heats at the 10th FINA World Championships (25m) in Dubai on December 15, 2010.-AFP

“It was a good race. My first race is usually my worst, but I was lucky enough to win this one. I’m excited for tonight’s final - it’s going to be great with so many good competitors in the line-up,” said Lochte.

Seven other swimmers also eclipsed Thorpe’s mark, including Tunisia’s Oussama Mellouli, who finished as second fastest qualifier with a time of 1:42.41.

“I felt really good. The pool is great and the atmosphere is fantastic. The 200m free isn’t really my event, but I’m just planning to race these guys as hard as I can and see what happens,” said Mellouli.

The other individual championship record of the morning went to Italy’s Fabio Scozzoli of Italy who swam 57.60 to set a new mark in the 100m breaststroke.

“I felt great. All of the morning’s fatigue is gone. It’s a beautiful pool - stupendous. It’s strange to find yourself swimming in the middle of the desert. I hope to continue to perform along these lines,” said Scozzoli.

In the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay heat, Russia made their intentions clear, also setting a new championship mark of 3:07.78.

The relay heats saw another piece of history being made with the home team from the United Arab Emirates, being made up of four brothers.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve done and happy we will be in history. It’s what we have dreamt of,” said the oldest of the brothers, Obaid Al Jasmi.

“We did our best in the race and did a good time. But the most important thing is that we represented the UAE.”

In the 100m backstroke, Russia’s Stanislav Donets swam the second-best time of the season in 50.18. Kenya’s Jason Dunford also swam the second best time of this season with 50.38 in the 100m butterfly.

“I think there is a good chance that world records will be broken, perhaps not in this event but in others there’s a really good shot as the pool is very fast because of the depth,” said Dunford.

In the women’s events, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia got off to a superb start by winning both her heats - in the 200m butterfly (2:04.84) and the 400m individual medley (4:32.37).

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