BARCELONA - Over 11,000 fans lifted their adopted countrywoman to gold, then Kitajima and Phelps to two more world records. It was a good night for swimming when Popov received a standing ovation from the crowd. Many people had dismissed the Russian, who at one point in time was undefeated in the 100 free for 8 years. But he returned to glory tonight, reminding everyone just why he is the Tsar of Swimming.
With 22 events (out of 40) completed the USA is on top with 14 (5-6-3) medals, AUS close with 12 (4-4-4). 18 countries have one or more medals.
To open the night, Spain's Nina Zhivanevskaya moved from last to first, plunging to the wall for the win. "I deserve this medal," said Zhivanevskaya. "But all the people who have come here to support me deserve it more. At the start I was very calm and also a bit worried about coming in first. But in the end it went well."
Kosuke Kitajima (JPN) is giving Thorpe and Phelps a challenge for just who will be named Swimmer of the Championships. He swam the perfect race, letting Brendan Hansen (USA) take it out 1 second under world record pace at the 100. Kitajima moved ahead and was 0.90 under at the 150. His final time-2:09.42.
Ian Edmond (GBR) continued Britain's breaststroke success, passing Hansen in the final 50 to win silver 2:10.92 to Hansen's 2:11.11.
Hanna-Maria Sepala (FIN), Jodie Henry (AUS), and Jenny Thompson (USA), will be battling it out tomorrow night in the final. Their times of 54.48, 54.78. and 54.81 were the top three and all looked strong and fast.
Aaron Peirsol (USA) swam a perfectly paced race to break his own championship record. His splits: 29.31, 29.13, 29.76, and 29.62 for a 1:55.82. He will surely crack his world record of 1:55.15 in tomorrow night's final. Arkady Vyatchanin (RUS) and Gordan Kozulj (CRO) round out the top three spots.
World record holder Otylia Jedrzejczak (POL) was well off her record time from last year, but managed to win in a 2:07.56, just ahead of Eva Ristov (HUN) in 2:07.68 and Yuko Nakanishi (JPN) 2:08.08. "In Fukuoka two years ago I was very disappointed because I came in fourth," said Nakanishi. "But now I