World record on cards on swimming opener - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

World record on cards on swimming opener

By Todd Balym 30/01/2006 05:48:24 AM Comments (0)

The Commonwealth Games swimming selection trials could start with a world record with Libby Lenton gunning for the 200m freestyle mark.

Lenton is making her first serious dive into the four-lap event at these championships and given her short course world record in November last year the Queensland 21-year-old is a real chance of breaking Franziska Van Almsick's four year old record of 1:56.64.

Lenton, the world 50m champion and former world 100m freestyle record holder, set a new Commonwealth Record (1:57.06) at last year's world championships as a relay lead off swimmer.

Having focussed her training on the event this time around many are expecting Lenton to go out after the mark on the first night of competition.

Olympic and world 100m freestyle champ Jodie Henry is also entered in the event but given she only switched coaches from Shannon Rollason to Jim Fowlie earlier this year, she is not expected to figure too prominently.

"Other girls may have the jump on her," said head coach Alan Thompson.

"But she is a champion and I would never write off a champion."

At the other end of the success spectrum, the search for the next Ian Thorpe begins in earnest with the men's 400m freestyle.

With Thorpe focussing on sprint races, Grant Hackett out injured and Nic Sprenger reducing his events due to illness a new person will need to step up to carry the flag in Melbourne in March.

Craig Stevens, the man who famously stepped aside from the 400m freestyle for Thorpe at the 2005 Athens Olympics, has virtually been begged to take up the slack and also contest the 1500m later in the week.

"I would like to see who is going to step up in the men's middle distance area," said head coach Alan Thompson, ahead of the trials.

In other finals, Alice Mills, Brooke Hanson and Lara Carroll will clash in the 200m individual medley while Travis Nederpelt will look to retain his 200m butterfly national title.

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