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Bernard smashes 100m world record, twice

Latest update : 2008-03-23

Frenchman Alain Bernard repeated Friday's feat as he set a new 100 metres freestyle world record in the final of the European Swimming Championships on Saturday, in a breathtaking 47.50 seconds.

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands, March 22 (Reuters) - Frenchman Alain
Bernard shattered the 100 metres freestyle world record for the
second time in two days at the European swimming championships
on Saturday.

Bernard, who had snatched the record from Olympic champion
Pieter van den Hoogenband at the Dutchman's home pool in
Friday's semi-finals, lowered it by a further 0.10 seconds to
47.50 to win the final by the best part of a second.

Bernard had clocked 47.60 seconds in the semi-finals to beat
the 47.84 mark Van den Hoogenband set in the semi-finals of the
Sydney Olympics on Sept. 19, 2000, on the way to the first of
his two Olympic 100 freestyle titles.

Van den Hoogenband, who turned 30 last week, had pulled out
of the Eindhoven event, having been ill during the week.

The heavily-muscled Frenchman turned at the 50-metre mark in
22.53, a breathtaking 0.35 seconds inside his own world record
split of 22.88, and powered down the return length to finish the
job to the cheers of spectators in the National Swimming Centre.

Sweden's Stefan Nystrand took silver in 48.40 and world
champion Filippo Magnini of Italy, who had won the title at the
last two European champions, had to settle for bronze in 48.53.

Bernard's best time before Eindhoven was 48.12.

Date created : 2008-03-22