ASU Swimmers & Divers Find Success At 10th FINA World Championships

July 28, 2003

BARCELONA, Spain -- Six current Arizona State swimmers and divers and one former Sun Devil swimmer competed in the 10th FINA World Swimming and Diving Championships July 13-27 in Barcelona. Men's diver Joona Puhakka (Finland) won the bronze on the 1-meter springboard and women's swimmer �gnes Kov�cs (Hungary) placed sixth in the 200 Individual Medley to lead the contingent of ASU swimmers at the meet.

Other representatives of Arizona State included Ahmed Hussein (Egypt), Petra Banovic (Croatia), Florencia Szigeti (Argentina), David Kolozar (Hungary) and Pablo Abal (Argentina).

Puhakka earned his country's first ever diving medal at this level by recording a 391.26 in the final on July 17, to finish behind the Chinese duo of Xiang Xu (431.94) and Kenan Wang (412.41). He finished second in his semifinal with a 389.22 after earning a No. 3 seed after the preliminaries with a 375.69.

Puhakka's remarkable year saw him garner numerous awards and titles during the collegiate season before proving himself on the senior international stage. The only other men's diver in Arizona State history who has had comparable success on the world level is Bernie Wrightson, who won a gold medal on springboard at the 1968 Olympics.

Kov�cs earned sixth place in the 200 IM on July 21, with a time of 2:14.63, three-hundredths of a second shy of fifth place and twelve-hundredths of a second shy of fourth. She was ninth overall after the prelims (2:16.31) and fifth overall after the semifinal round following a 2:14.32.

Hussein solidified himself as one of the world's top backstrokers after advancing to the 50 back semifinals on July 26, and placing 13th overall with a 25.81, two-tenths of a second shy of progressing to the finals. He placed second in his preliminary heat with a 25.89 and was one of 16 individuals to advance to the semis out of 88 competitors in the event.

All of ASU's current student-athletes who competed at the World Championships are returning for the 2003-04 campaign. The season begins on October 3 with the annual intrasquad scrimmage at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center.

For complete results of the 10th FINA World Championships, visit FINA's Official Results Page and click on the appropriate sport (swimming or diving).