Bernard smashes 100m freestyle record - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bernard smashes 100m freestyle record

By Derek Parr 22/03/2008 06:35:35 AM Comments (0)

Frenchman Alain Bernard snatched the 100 metres freestyle world record from Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband in the Dutchman's home pool at the European swimming championships on Friday.

Bernard clocked 47.60 seconds in the 100 semi-finals to beat the 47.84 mark Van den Hoogenband set in the semi-finals of the Sydney Games on September 19, 2000, on the way to the first of his two Olympic 100 freestyle titles.

Van den Hoogenband, who turned 30 last week, pulled out of the morning's heats, having been ill during the week. He failed to make the semi-finals of the 200 freestyle, an event he has won at four European championships, on Wednesday.

Bernard turned at the 50-metre mark in 22.88, well inside Van den Hoogenband's world record split of 23.16, and hurtled down the return length to cut 0.24 seconds off the world mark.

Bernard, 24, had been second-fastest overall in the heats in 48.70 behind fellow Frenchman Fabien Gilot (48.51). Gilot won the second semi-final in 48.68.

Bernard had stood joint-third on the all-time list with world champion Filippi Magnini of Italy with a best time of 48.12 behind Van den Hoogenband (47.84) and Sweden's Stefan Nystrand (47.91).

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