Keller Wins Bronze At World Swim Championships

July 25, 2001

USC sophomore-to-be Klete Keller posted a personal best 1:47.10 to take the bronze medal in the 200-meter freestyle at the 2001 World Championships on Wednesday (July 25) in Fukuoka, Japan.

Keller, who won a pair of NCAA titles as a freshman in March and bronze and silver medals at the 2000 Summer Olympics, finished third behind champion Ian Thorpe (1:44.06) and second-place Pieter van den Hoogenband (1:45.81).

At the start of the race, Hoogenband touched first at the 50 in 24.67, Thorpe at 24.81, while Keller was fifth at 25.69. By the 100, Thorpe was within .02 of Hoogenband at 51.45 to 51.43, while Keller had dropped to seventh at 53.19. Thorpe started to take over at the 150m mark, turning in 1:18.26 to Hoogenband's 1:18.46. Keller was back at fifth in 1:20.72, bringing it home strong to take the bronze. Keller's time moved him ahead of Matt Biondi to make him the second-fastest American in history.

'This was my first time swimming the 200 internationally, so I'm glad that I medaled,' Keller said. 'My tactic was to get on the laneline right away and try to draft off of Pieter van den Hoogenband. That only worked for about 25 meters. Then he got away from me.'

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