MONACO - Agnes Kovacs the nineteen year old Hungarian, lifted her arms in a victory salute at the end of the 50m breaststroke sprint, for not only had she won the race and 400m French francs but after two days of near misses at long last a European record was hers.
In the 100m breaststroke on day one of the Monaco Meet the opening leg of the Mare Nostrum, she missed the European mark held by Silke Hoerner of the GDR, by 1/100th.
On day two she was 4/100th off her own 200m record. At the half way stage of the four length race she was some one and a half seconds inside her schedule. But the early fast pace told in the end and she slipped back to record 2min 24.94sec.
But it was in the one length dash that she proved third time lucky. The triple European champion touched home in 31.34sec to shave 9/100ths off Britain's Zoe Bakers ten month old European mark.
Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands, was the overall queen of the two day meet. After her world and European records on day one she went on winning claiming the 50m butterfly in 26.28sec and the 100m freestyle in 54.59. Her freestyle time missed t Franziska van Almsick's European mark by just 2/100ths
Alexander Popov after his defeat in the 100m freestyle on day one at the hands of Attila Zubor of Hungary, lined up against his conquerer in the semi final of the 50m head to head.
Popov the double Olympic champion, gained revenge as he swept through to the final in 22.55sec. He faced South Africa's Nick Folker in the final. Popov as popular as ever glided to victory in 22.55sec 7/100ths ahead of Folker.