Brendan Hansen punched the water after his victory in the 100-meter breaststroke at the 2005 swimming world championships Monday night, feeling vindicated over the cheating that went on at last year's Summer Games.
Hansen, however, wasn't recalling the allegedly illegal dolphin kicks that Japan's Kosuke Kitajima used to collect the gold medal, leaving Hansen with a disappointing silver. Though teammates and even U.S. coaches angrily charged Kitajima with stealing Hansen's medal at the Olympics in Athens, Hansen believed he had cheated himself by performing poorly.
"I swam his race, not mine," Hansen said. "Not many people get a second chance. I didn't want to screw it up tonight."
Hansen finished in 59.37 seconds at Jean-Drapeau Park, topping Kitajima (59.53) and France's Hugues Duboscq (1:00.20).
"Tonight I put the blinders on like a horse at the Kentucky Derby," he said. "I didn't look to either side of me."
Hardy Sets World Record
When Jessica Hardy touched the wall at the end of her 100 breaststroke semifinal heat, she screamed, "Wow!" A cluster of reporters let loose with a slightly different exclamation: Who is she?
Hardy, a recent high school graduate from Long Beach, Calif., set a world record of 1:06.20 in her first significant international race. Knocking more than a second off of her previous best time (1:07.83), Hardy stunned everyone who knew her -- and even those who didn't.
"She had quite a drop," American Tara Kirk, 22, said. "That's really great for the U.S. . . . I already knew I had a fast person to race against. Now I know she's even faster."
Said U.S. women's coach Jack Bauerle, "Certainly Jessica's swim was unbelievable . . . the scary thing is, she can be even faster."
Hardy, whose mother, Denise Robinson, swam for Indiana State University, trains under breaststroke specialist Dave Salo with Irvine Novaquatics. She said she doubted the scoreboard when she saw her mark, which topped the previous world mark set in 2003 by Australia's Leisel Jones (1:06.37).
"I didn't believe it," Hardy said. "I thought, 'that can't be for real.' "
Ziegler Tries to Relax
Kate Ziegler of O'Connell High, considered a rising distance swimming sensation, survived her first world championship race, but she didn't thrive and certainly didn't enjoy the experience. Ziegler, 17, said she hoped to be more relaxed in Tuesday's 1,500-meter final after advancing as the seventh of eight qualifiers with a time of 16 minutes 26.75 seconds.
Ziegler, who swam 15 seconds faster at the world championship trials in June, said she thought nervousness might have slowed her.
"From the beginning, it didn't feel too good," said Ziegler, who was born in Fairfax. "I just hope to work my turns a little better [Tuesday] . . . Now that it's one race in, I can feel a little more confident . . . Part of why I wasn't feeling too good was subconsciously I was a little nervous. Hopefully, tomorrow night I won't feel like that." . . .
A day after his stunning failure to advance to the 400-meter freestyle final, Michael Phelps arrived at the pool angry, determined to prove Sunday's debacle was a fluke rather than an indicator of a larger problem with his swimming. Phelps posted the second-best time of the morning (1:48.17) behind Grant Hackett of Australia (1:47.88), then led the evening's semifinals with a time of (1:46.33).
"I wanted to make a statement in the first heat today," he said. "I wanted to show the first day wasn't the way I planned to swim the whole entire meet."
Phelps also said: "The 400, I'm a little over that. I got my first morning off [Tuesday] so I get to get some more sleep. Hopefully, [Tuesday] night I can come back even faster."