Peirsol sets record at championships

By wire services
Published July 30, 2005

MONTREAL - When it comes to the backstroke, no one does it better than Aaron Peirsol.

The American added to an already extensive legacy when he broke his world record in the 200-meter backstroke Friday - a performance that left his supposed rivals in awe.

Austrian Markus Rogan, the runnerup who finished almost two seconds behind, applauded Peirsol as they climbed from the pool at the World Swimming Championships on Ile Saint-Helene.

"I always get to watch his feet during the races," Rogan said.

Peirsol's time of 1 minute, 54.66 seconds eclipsed his mark from last year's U.S. Olympic Trials (1:54.74).

Leisel Jones shattered Amanda Beard's record and completed a sweep of the 100-200 breaststroke, a feat matched on the men's side by American Brendan Hansen.

Jones finished the 200 in 2:21.72, shattering Beard's mark of 2:22.24 set in 2004. Hansen won in 2:09.85.

The men's 4x400 freestyle relay team of Michael Phelps, Florida star Ryan Lochte, Peter Vanderkaay and Klete Keller took three-quarters of a second off its time from last year's Athens Games, setting an American record of 7:06.58.

MORE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Eszter Tomaskovics had the go-ahead goal in the first overtime and Hungary went on to defeat the United States 10-7 for the gold medal in women's water polo. Trailing 7-3 at halftime, the Americans rallied with four consecutive goals to force overtime. Canada beat Russia 8-3 for the bronze.

TAINTED RECORD? An Australian coach called for the use of video replay in swimming, saying it would have helped officials spot a disputed move by Poland's Otylia Jedrzejczak during a world-record performance. Australian coach Alan Thompson cited video from an underwater camera that appeared to show Jedrzejczak reaching for the wall with her left hand, while her right arm was at her side. Under butterfly rules, a swimmer must touch the wall with both hands at the same time. Last week, the sport's governing body voted against using replays.

TRACK: Richmond on U.S. squad

Rose Richmondqualified for the U.S. national team that will compete at the world championships Aug.6-14 in Helsinki, Finland. The Lakewood graduate was chosen for the long jump after two jumpers who finished ahead of her at the U.S. finals failed to achieve the minimum standard for the championships.

BISLETT GAMES: Lashinda Demus stumbled near the finish line while leading and wound up third in the 400-meter hurdles in Oslo, Norway, losing her chance for a $1-million jackpot. The American had won her first two races in the Golden League series. The jackpot is awarded to any athlete who wins a discipline at each of the six Golden League meets and competes at the World Athletics Final.

TENNIS: Agassi proving himself

Andre Agassi wanted to test himself physically and mentally after eight weeks off. So far, he's passed. Agassi beat former top-10 player Paradorn Srichaphan 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the Mercedes-Benz Cup quarterfinals in Los Angeles. "Today was a good step for me, to play against a guy that can hit the ball as well and as big as Paradorn," said Agassi, who faces Juan Ignacio Chela today.

OTHER TOURNAMENTS: Second-seeded Guillermo Coria ousted Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3, 6-0 to advance to the semifinals of the Croatia Open in Umag. Coria faces Filippo Volandri. ... Top-seeded Anna Smashnova defeated Aniko Kapros 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the semifinals of the Budapest Grand Prix in Hungary. Smashnova faces fourth-seeded Jelena Kostanic. ... Kim Clijsters beat Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-1 to advance to the semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif. The fourth-seeded Clijsters meets Anna-Lena Groenefeld. ... Defending champion Nicolas Massu overcame oncourt temperature over 122 degrees to beat Nicholas Lapentti 6-4, 6-7 (6-0), 6-2 at the Generali Open quarterfinals in Kitzbuehel, Austria. Massu faces unseeded Fernando Verdasco.

DAVENPORT UPDATE: Lindsay Davenport, who re-injured her lower back Thursday, said she is considering withdrawing from all events leading up to the U.S. Open. It begins Aug.29.


BOXING: World champion Floyd Mayweather was acquitted of hitting and kicking his former girlfriend during a 2003 argument outside a Las Vegas nightclub. Mayweather, who holds the WBC 140-pound title, was charged with one count of battery constituting domestic violence and would have faced a minimum of one year in prison if convicted.

CYCLING: Lance Armstrong's libel case against the Sunday Times will go to trial in November after London's Court of Appeal finalized defense details. The seven-time Tour de France winner is suing the British newspaper for printing a review of the book LA Confidential, The Secrets of Lance Armstrong in June 2004. The article reprinted allegations that Armstrong had taken performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong has denied all doping allegations.

DOPING: Remi Korchemny, the track coach ensnared in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroids scandal, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in San Francisco to one misdemeanor count of doling out the sleep-disorder drug modafinil.

FISHING: Jimmy Mize took the first-day lead at the Bassmaster Classic in Pittsburgh with five bass totaling 6 pounds, 2 ounces.

Times staff writer Bob Putnam contributed to this report which also used Times wires.