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Swimming Partners Finish 1-2

July 6, 2000

HELSINKI, Finland (AP) _ Training partners Flavia Rigamonti and Chantal Strasser gave Switzerland its first 1-2 finish at the European Swimming Championships Thursday, in the women’s 800-meter freestyle.

Rigamonti, who finished fourth in last year’s championships, was timed in 8 minutes, 29.16 seconds, in the longest women’s race. Strasser, 12th last year, was timed at 8:31.36.

Janet Evans of the United States holds the world record of 8:16.22, set in 1989. It’s one of the longest-standing world records.

Rigamonti’s gold was Switzerland’s first among the women since the start of the European Championships in 1926.

Stev Theloke of Germany set the first European record during the meet with a time of 25.60 in the men’s 50-meter backstroke, a non-Olympic distance. It was .03 seconds faster than his previous mark, set three weeks ago at Berlin.

Darius Grigalionis of Lithuania was second at 25.61.

Beatrice Caslaru of Romania and Yana Klochkova of Ukraine broke the 19-year championship record in the women’s 200 medley, with identical times of 2:12.57 to share the gold.

East Germany’s Ute Geweniger held the old championship record of 2:12.64 at the 1981 championships.

The Russians dominated Thursday’s six finals, winning three.

Anatoli Poliakov had one of the best performances of the day, with 1:56.73 in the men’s 200 butterfly. It was 1.75 slower than the world mark, set by Tom Malchow of the United States three weeks ago.

James Hickman of Britain was second at 1:58.44.

Other Russian winners were Dmitri Komornikov in the 200 breaststroke and Dmitry Sautin in the 3-meter springboard diving.

Komornikov added a gold to his bronze in the 100 breaststroke by winning at 2:13.09, nearly three seconds off American Mike Barrowman’s world record from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

Sautin was unchallenged on the big springboard, beating runner-up Stefan Ahrens of Germany by nearly 40 points (681.48 to 641.94).

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