GELSENKIRCHEN - With the top performance of this year's Arena Festival to receive a Ford Ka worth DM25,000 there was hightened motivation on the second day.
Top performances were turned in:
Pieter van den Hoogenband (NED) in the men's 200 free. At the 100 he split 50.67 and his final time of was 1:44.96. He said, "I didn't prepare for the Arena Festival, on Friday I still worked with weights. My next goal is the World Championships in Hong Kong where I might be able to get near the world record." This performance was the fourth best worth 991 points on the FINA ratings table.
Yana Klochkova (UKR) won the 400 IM today in 4:34.28, worth 993 points and gave her a sweep of all three IM events. She has closed the gap in the points category race and now has 97 points to Marianne Limpert (CAN) with 103. Klochkova plans to compete on the final World Cup in Imperia and should move into the category lead. She plans to compete in Hong Kong at the FINA SC World Championships in April.
Jorg Hoffmann (GER) broke the German record in the 1500 free with 14:37.92 and his performance was worth 997 points. Hoffmann bettered the former record by Steffen Zesner's 14.41.02. Hoffman explained: "I'm fully concentrating on swimming and my forestry studies. I am planning to train for the Sydney Olympics. I missed the European record (14:37.60) between the 1000 and the 1200 metres, and I could have started the final sprint earlier had I known that I was so close. Hoffmann won the World Cup Distance Freestyle Category for the fourth consecutive time with 94 points.
The very best performance on the second day was Thomas Rupprath's 50 backstroke with 24.22. It was worth 1017 points and got him the keys to the Ford. Rupprath said, I'm surprised, even speechless, that I have come that close to my own world record (24.13). I took a break after the European SC Championships last December and started practicing again only seven weeks ago. Despite my good performances in the backstroke events I will still concentrate on the butterfly for the long course season."
Other strong performances:
Agnes Kovacs (HUN) won all three breaststrokes. Today in the 50 she edged a strong field in 31.48 over Janne Schafer (GER) in 31.84 and Sylvia Gerasch (GER) in 31.90. Kovacs' winning time in the 200 breast was 2:24.54. It was a rare short course appearance for Kovacs, her first in four years.
Frederik deBurghgraeve (BEL) won the 100 breast in 1:00.14, giving him 108 points in the category and the unchallenged lead. He will not compete in Hong Kong. He said: "For me the short course season is over. Now I will begin the preparation for the Europeans in Istanbul, next summer."
Antje Buschschulte (GER) won the backstroke category with 120 points (the most by anyone) after wins in the 100 and 200 back. Sue Rolph (GBR) won the 50 and 100 freestyles. Both times she beat Katrin Meissner (GER) who still has the points edge in the sprint category 99 to Rolph's 97.
Missing from the finals were such prominent swimmers as Mark Foster (GBR) and Fernando Scherer (BRA) in the men's 50 free. Scratching from all today's events Fraziska van Almsick (GER) winner of the 200 free yesterday.
Swimmers from 29 countries attended the Arena Festival. German swimmers won 35 medals, 14 of them gold.
The 12th and final World Cup will take place March 3-4 in Imperia (ITA). We also have Medals Tables and full Meet Results in the Special Events World Cup Coverage section.