Lenton off pace but on track for Beijing - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lenton off pace but on track for Beijing

By Todd Balym 03/11/2007 08:54:35 PM Comments (0)

Australian golden girl Libby Lenton says she is a more mature and better conditioned athlete than ever before, even if her FINA World Cup times are below her previous results.

On Saturday night, Sprint queen Lenton claimed her third victory of the short course meet with a powerful 100m freestyle win in 52.20 seconds, half a second outside her own world record.

But the world champion still blitzed the field by a couple of body lengths, Finland's Hanna-Maria Seppala second in 53.78s and Australia's Melanie Schlanger third in 53.90s.

Lenton's winning time was 0.03s slower than her previous World Cup record set in the same pool two years ago, but the Queenslander is adamant she has taken huge steps forward in her career and is on the right path headed towards Beijing.

"I'm in a really good spot (for Beijing), I have swum faster at previous World Cups and in previous meets but we are in hard training preparing for March next year and August," explained Lenton.

"It was a bit like all of my swims, I kind of wish I'd swum a little bit faster.

"I'm only half a second to a second off my best times so I'm still pretty happy with that."

Lenton, 22, believes the reason she hasn't set personal best times at Olympic Park is because she feels 'heavy' in the water as a result of not adjusting her short taper as she's matured as an athlete.

"I'm a more mature athlete and therefore I don't taper up as easily," she said.

"I'm a more conditioned athlete and I don't freshen up as quickly as I used to and I'm in slightly harder work than the previous World Cup here in 2005 and when I broke the world record."

Lenton's training partner, breaststroker Christian Sprenger, had few concerns with his taper as he sliced 0.35s off his best 100m time in beating world No.3 Brenton Rickard to claim his first international treble.

Sprenger, who won the 50m and 200m on Friday night, touched in 58.71s ahead of Rickard's 58.95s.

"Every time I race Brenton it's another chance for me to better myself. I look up to him and I want to give it my all and my confidence is going up," said Sprenger.

"The 100 is my favourite. It's the one I look forward to and I knew Rickard would be hot in that one and I wanted to fend him off and that's what gets my blood boiling."

Breaststroke queen Leisel Jones proved her speed is continuing to improve by beating world record holder Jade Edmistone (30.22s) in the 50m winning in a time of 30.03s.

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