For the second time in four months, swimmer Jenny Thompson (Dover, N.H./Palo Alto, Calif.) was named the USOC Female Athlete of the Month, grabbing the honor for April. Thompson, who also won the award in January of this year, continued her dominance in the sprint events at the Short Course World Championships held in Hong Kong, April 1-4.
At Short Course Worlds, Thompson set a world and two American records, while earning three golds, a silver and the Women's Outstanding Performer of the Meet accolades for the second straight time. She broke the world record in the 100m individual medley during prelims, scratching the final so she would win two golds that same night in the 100m freestyle and 50m butterfly, breaking the American record in the 100m free. Thompson also won gold in the 100m fly and silver in the 50m free in the four-day meet, which included semifinal action.
"I thought that both the prize money and the semifinals brought new elements to the meet and made it more of a strategy game," Thompson said. "It was a bit tiring, to be honest. I hoped that I could go in there and break at least three world records, since I did that during the season with no rest. However, the semifinals definitely took their toll on me and by the end of the meet I was exhausted."
Thompson, who has received four Female Athlete of the Month awards in her career, ties alpine skier Picabo Street and synchronized swimmer Becky Dyroen-Lancer as the second most decorated Female Athlete of the Month honoree, behind figure skater Michelle Kwan who has been honored seven times by the USOC. Thompson's previous awards came in Jan. 1999, April 1997 and Aug. 1997. She captured six of the 13 first-place votes in April balloting.