Neethling and Poll Capture 200m Freestyle Crowns
South Africa's Rik Neethling and Costa Rica's Claudia Poll won 200-meter freestyle titles Saturday at the Janet Evans Invitational swim meet, but world-record holder Penny Heyns was edged out in a surprise defeat.
Poll set a meet record by winning in 1:58.02, smashing the 12-year-old mark of another Costa Rican, Sylvia Pohl, at one of the last major tuneups for next month's United States Olympic trials and September's Sydney Games.
Neethling, who earlier captured the 800 freestyle, won in 1:50.98.
But his compatriot Heyns, who set the 200 breaststroke world record of 2:23.64 last August, was out-touched by American Kristen Caverly. Caverly won in 2:29.83 with Heyns .06 behind.
"I didn't think I had won the race," Caverly said. "It's really exciting to beat Penny. It shows I'm up there and have a chance of making it (to the Olympics). I was really happy with my effort in the finish."
Canadian swimmers served notice they will be tough to tame in Sydney as well, three of them capturing titles. Morgan Knabe won the men's 200m breaststroke in 2:16.91, while Joanne Malar and Curtis Myden won the 400m individual medley titles in 4:41.71 and 4:22.60 respectively.
That left the Americans to dominate the 50m freestyle sprints, with Dara Torres winning the women's in a meet-record 25.04 seconds with Jenny Thompson second in 25.22 and 1996 Olympic star Amy Van Dyken third in 25.32.
"I wasn't exactly thrilled with my time," Torres said. "I wanted to go under 25, so when I touched in 25.04 ... but things are going well so I just want to keep it up for the next two months."
Torres predicted it would take an American record to make the US team in the event at next month's trials in Indianapolis, where a repeat showdown with Thompson and Van Dyken is likely.
Anthony Ervin captured the men's race in 22.30 ahead of training partners Bart Kizierowski in 22.32 and Gary Hall in 22.63 – (AFP)
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