Bal Advances To Semifinals In 50m Back At World Championships

July 24, 2001

Fukuoka, Japan - Randall Bal (50m back, 25.43) and Kristy Kowal (200m breast, 2:27.40)enter tonight's semifinals as the top seeds in their events as all the U.S.swimmers advanced this morning.

'It felt good,' Bal said. 'I took it out smooth and held my rate andstroke. I wanted to get in the middle lanes tonight. I think I've setmyself up pretty well.'

'I did great this morning,' Kowal said. 'I'm pleased that I went that fastafter having the 100 the past two days. Swimming in college where I had12 to 14 swims in three days has helped me in this meet.'

Megan Quann joins Kowal in the 200m breast as the 16th seed (2:31.38), while Neil Walker isthe 10th seed in the 50m back at 26.17.

'After the first few strokes, I wanted to build into it and just make it into the top 16,' Walker said. 'There's always the fear of not making it back so there's some pressure, but you want toconserve as much energy as you can. Randall had a great swim this morning. It's good for theU.S. team to have us both in there.'

Scott Goldblatt and Klete Keller posted the sixth- and seventh-fastest times in the 200m freethis morning at 1:48.65 and 1:49.14. Olympic champion Pieter van den Hoogenband was thefastest at 1:47.18, a meet record. Emiliano Brembilla of Italy and Australian worldrecord-holder Ian Thorpe were also under 1:48 at 1:47.91 and 1:47.95, respectively.

'I wanted to swim my own race, but it was good to be next to Pieter because I knew he'd befast,' Goldblatt said.

'I felt smooth, but that's not a good time for me,' Keller said. 'Thorpe will be a lot fastertonight. He must have been taking it easy.'

Maritza Correia and Colleen Lanne both advanced in the 100m free, placing 12th (56.13) and16th (56.38), respectively. Top seed is China's Yanwei Xu and Sweden's Johanna Sjoberg, bothat 55.44. World record-holder Inge de Bruijn was sixth in 55.65.

courtesy of USA Swimming

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