MOSCOW - Alex Popov, the Sprint Tsar made his Olympic intentions known yesterday when he came just short of breaking the world record in the 50m freestyle at the Russian Olympic Trials taking place in Moscow. Alex won in a very impressive 21.99. His prelim and semi-final times of 22.70 and 22.16 were equally impressive.
This is Alex's second time below 22 seconds and only the fifth time it has ever been done. Only Matt Biondi and Tom Jager have been below that barrier. Jager holds the current World Record of 21.81 which he set back in 1990. Alex holds the European Record of 21.91 which he set in 1992 at the Barcelona Olympics.
He was a double gold medallist in the 50m and 100m freestyle events at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games and will be trying to become the first man in history to win these events at 3 Olympics Games.
In other events Aleksei Filipets won the mens 1500m freestyle in 15:07.76. Its the third fastest time so far this year in the event.
In the mens 50m breaststroke Roman Ivanovski won in a time of 28.80, although he actually had a faster time of 28.61 in his prelim swim.
In the two womens events of the first day of competition, Yekaterina Kibalo won the 50m freestyle in 26.15, while Yelena Bogomazova won the 50m breaststroke in a time of 32.73.