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September 16, 2000
Klochkova smashes world record
The women's 400m individual medley kicked off the afternoon's festivities at the acquatic centre.
Ukrainian Yana Klochkova was the fastest qualifier in the heats this morning, coming in at 4:37.64. Expected to challenge her, were Japan's Yasuko Tajima and Kaitlin Sandeno of the US.
Klochkova took the lead right from her splashdown, splitting the first 50 at 28.95. Significantly, she was a bodylength ahead of the competition at the time, which meant that barring unforeseen difficulties, her only opponent there on was the clock.
After the butterfly, Klochkova remains ahead, at 1:01.62 - well on course for the world record.
The record looked further in doubt when Klochkova clocked 3:30.63 at the 300m mark -- way ahead of the existing world record split of 3:32.28.
Racing supremely, oblivious to the competition trailing along in her wake, Klochkova powered through the last, freestyle, lap, finishing a full bodylength ahead of Japan's Tajima.
Gold to Ukraine, a new world record for Klochkova, whose 4:33.59 smashed the existing time of 4:34.79.
Significantly, the new record was a good three seconds quicker than the existing Olympic record of 4:36.27.
Tajima came in second, timing 4:35.96 with Romania's Beatrice Caslaru taking the bronze, timing 4:37.18.
It is interesting to note that neither the second nor third placed candidates came within the previous world record timing. Indicative of how one-sided this race was.
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