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Klim Wins 100 Freestyle

January 20, 2001

BERLIN (AP) _ Australian star Michael Klim, coming off back problems and a disappointing Olympics, made a late sprint Saturday to win the 100-meter freestyle at the Arena World Cup, a short course meet that has drawn six Olympic champions.

Megan Quann, who won two golds at Olympic, had less trouble. The American swept the women’s 100-meter backstroke event in 1 minute, 7.67 seconds on the opening day of the two-day $278,000 event.

Klim’s sprint helped him edge little-known Jose Meolans, who had led all the way until then and had posted the fastest heat time to suddenly became one of the favorites. The Australian touched in 47.53 seconds, with the Argentine second in 47.61.

Klim, world champion in the 100 and 200 meter freestyle, failed to win individual gold at Sydney. But the Australian said he was satisfied with a race that begins his campaign to be ready for July’s world championships.

``Not all my dreams came true in Sydney, but I’m only 23 and I want to keep swimming another four years,″ Klim said.

Alexander Popov was third at 47.98. The Russian still holds the event’s world record of 46.74, one of oldest existing short course records set in 1994.

The Arena World Cup, the eighth of 10 on the circuit, has drawn a good field because it’s offering $70,000 in bonuses for victories and world records.

Despite the fast pool, where numerous world records were set in last year’s pre-Olympic course, no short course world records fell Saturday. But two European records were broken.

Slovakia’s Martina Moravcova, one of the most versatile swimmers around, dropped her own women’s 100 meter butterfly European mark from 57.54 to 57.16. Croatia’s Gordan Kozulj broke the men’s 50-meter backstroke record by four-hundredths of a second, finishing in 52.24.

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