Jensen, Mellouli Among Trojans At 2005 Swimming World Championships
July 21, 2005
2004 Olympic medal winners Kaitlin Sandeno, Larsen Jensen and Klete Keller and Athens Olympic finalist Ous Mellouli will represent Trojan interests at the 2005 World Championships from July 24-31 in Montreal.
The World Championships will be Jensen's first major international swim since re-setting his own U.S. mark in the 1500m free at the 2004 Olympics. In the fastest mile final ever, Jensen, a 2005 USC NCAA title winner who will be a junior in 2006, obliterated his old record in 14:45.29 to win silver. He posted the sixth fastest performance ever in the race and became the third fastest person to swim the event.
The fastest man ever in the race -- and the gold medal winner from Athens -- is back in Australian distance stalwart Grant Hackett. Hackett holds the fastest time in the world this year while 2004 bronze medallist David Davies of England is second with Jensen third.
Mellouli, a finalist in the 400m IM at the 2004 Olympics for his native Tunisia, will compete in that again as well as the 400m and 800m freestyles. After winning an NCAA title in the 400m IM in 2005, the 2006 senior-to-be won golds in the 200m and 400m IM and the 800m free at the 2005 Mediterranean Games in Almeria, Spain.
His times there in the 400m IM and 800m free are among the fastest in the world this year. With world record holder Michael Phelps not competing in the 400m IM, Mellouli will challenge for gold with Hungarian Laszlo Cseh and Italian Alessio Boggiatto, among others.
Sandeno, a three-time medallist at the 2004 Olympic Games accustomed to swimming in at least four events in every competition, is down to a manageable two next week. She will only swim the 400m IM and the 4x200m free relay.
Sandeno,a two-time NCAA title winner at USC, should have fond memories of both races from her time in Athens last year. She set an American record in 2004 en route to the silver medal in the 400m IM (4:34.95) and later anchored the U.S. to a world record in the relay.
Keller, one of the top middle distance swimmers in the world who won three NCAA titles at USC in two years, resumes his place on the U.S. 4x200m free relay. Keller was part of the gold-medal-winning and American-record-setting relay that upset Australia in Athens and he's back again to help defend the U.S. crown against the Aussies.