The national anthem had just stopped playing at the Pan Pacific swimming championships presentation ceremony when Lenny Krayzelburg began gently clapping.
The Russian-turned-American was saluting his new country and the support of the fans who had just cheered him to his second world record in three days.
"It was an amazing feeling, one that I'll always remember," Krayzelburg said today after smashing the 200-meter backstroke record. His time of 1 minute 55.87 seconds was seven-tenths of a second faster than the 1:56.57 set by Spain's Martin Lopez Zubero in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Nov. 23, 1991.
On Tuesday, Krayzelburg broke the 100-meter world record. "I was looking forward to this meet for about a year, and I had a good feeling about it," Krayzelburg said. "I guess I went out kind of quick tonight, but the crowd really spurred me home."
Krayzelburg, who became an American citizen in 1995, six years after he and his family emigrated from the Soviet Union, said his most important goal remains next year's Sydney Olympics, where the swimming competition will be held in the same pool.
Krayzelburg, who will have a chance to add a third gold medal when he swims for the U.S medley relay team Sunday, didn't miss a chance to show his pleasure with today's record swim. Moments after his success, he pointed brazenly to the scoreboard with his world record time flashing.
"I had been thinking of a way to show my happiness, and I figured that would do it," Krayzelburg said.
Notes: Early Saturday, South Africa's Penny Heyns, racing alone in a special 50-meter breaststroke time trial, set her eighth world record in 11 swims. Meet officials said Heyns received official sanction from the governing body FINA to go for the record after breaking three 100 records and four 200 records in the past six weeks, including three previously in this meet.
Heyns was clocked in 30.83 seconds, breaking the mark of 30.95 she set in the Goodwill Games last August.