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Swimming: 3 More Golds at World Championships
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China ended the FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships with a haul of three gold medals on the fifth and final day of the tournament in Shanghai.

Qi Hui grabbed the host's first gold of the day, and the third of her own in the tournament, with a flawless swim (2:20.72) in the women's 200-meter breaststroke. An hour later, Wu Peng overcame a broken toe to touch first in the men's 200-meter butterfly after a championship record-breaking performance (1:52.36). Yang Yu then completed the Chinese golden windfall with a narrow victory (1:54.94) in the women's 200-meter freestyle, vaulting China's gold medal tally to five.

As if that was not enough, Gao Chang, with a third-place finish in the women's 50-meter backstroke, and Zhang Lin, who captured a bronze in the men's 1,500 meters freestyle, helped further increase the country's total to 12, securing third place in the standings behind Australia (24) and the United States (22).

"If only this was the Olympics," joked Chinese national swimming team head coach Zhang Yadong. "The results might have exceeded our expectations but I should say there's still a lot to be desired from our athletes, in terms of skills and mentality."

Australia's Libby Lenton, however, upstaged Qi, producing a couple of upsets to take her tally to five golds with two more titles last night, Reuters reported.

The 21-year-old won the 100 meters butterfly and 50 freestyle while Ryan Lochte broke another world record for the under-strength US team.

Showing no signs of fatigue after a run of competition that started with the Australian nationals at the end of January, Lenton bettered American Rachel Komisarz and Australian favorite Jessicah Schipper with a time of 56.61 in the 100 butterfly.

Twenty-five minutes later she was back in the pool for the 50 freestyle and touched just 0.01 seconds ahead of Sweden's world record holder Therese Alshammar in 23.97. Magdalena Veldhuis took bronze for the Netherlands.

Lochte grabbed his second world record and his third gold of the championships with victory in the 200 backstroke.

The 22-year-old from Florida, won both the 200 and 400 medley golds earlier in the week setting his first world mark in the shorter distance.
(Shanghai Daily April 10, 2006)


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