Jenny Thompson Captures Gold In 50 Meter Freestyle At Pan Pac's

Aug. 27, 2002

Yokohama, Japan - Former Stanford swimmer Jenny Thompson won a gold medal Tuesday by capturing the 50 meter freestyle at the 2002 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships at the Yokohama International Swimming Pool. Thompson, the most decorated athlete in Olympic history with 10 medals over the last three Olympic Games, recorded a personal best 25.13 in the victory.

'This is the best I've felt about a race since I broke the world record in the 100 butterfly,' said Thompson, who began training just a little over two months ago. 'I was really relaxed before the race. I didn't have many expectations ... I had a good time with it. It was pretty much the perfect race for me. I was just happy to make the team. This is the icing on the cake.'

Current Stanford swimmer Tara Kirk, a silver medallist in the 100 meter breaststroke earlier in the meet, finished sixth in the 200 meter breaststroke semifinals with a time of 2:29.85 in the semifinals after swimming her heat in 2:30.89. Kirk's sixth place semifinal finish would normally qualify for the finals but Pan Pac rules allow for only two competitors from each country in event finals. Kirk was the third American to finish behind Kristy Kowal (2nd, 2:27.34) and Amanda Beard (3rd, 2:27.44).

American Lindsay Benko won the 200 meter free (1:58.74) and Australian Petria Thomas captured the 200 meter butterfly (2:08.31) in the other two women's finals contested on Tuesday.

The 2002 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships continue through Thursday, August 29. Full results and more information about the meet are available at panpac2002.com . Another source for information on the 2002 Pan Pac's is usaswimming.org.

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