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September 21, 2000
De Bruijn hopes to make it Double DutchDerek Parr
Inge de Bruijn, fuelled by yet another world record, targets her second Olympic gold on Thursday when she aims to emulate Dutch teammate Pieter van den Hoogenband and win the 100 metres freestyle.
Van den Hoogenband, who won Monday's 200 freestyle ahead of Ian Thorpe, picked up his second Sydney gold in Wednesday's men's 100 freestyle having set a world record in the event the previous day.
De Bruijn, who broke seven world records and equalled another in a nine-week spree earlier this year, cracked her own 100 metres butterfly mark to win her first Olympic gold on Sunday and lowered the 100 freestyle mark on Wednesday to take a huge psychological advantage into Thursday's final.
The 27-year-old Dutchwoman clocked 53.77 seconds in the semifinals, leaving world champion Jenny Thompson way behind in second place in 54.40. Thompson's U.S. team mate Dara Torres was third fastest on aggregate in 55.02.
"I am feeling great every time I go out there. I feel really strong," said De Bruijn, who admitted last week she used to be so nervous she could not race.
"I don't know what will happen. I am just getting out there and having fun. I am not a nervous wreck any more."
European champion Therese Alshammar languished back in seventh place overall, while 1996 Olympic silver medallist Sandra Voelker did not make the final, finishing 15th of the 16 semifinalists.
World champions Lenny Krayzelburg and Agnes Kovacs are warm favourites for gold on Thursday after each twice setting Olympic records in Wednesday's heats and semifinals.
Ukrainian-born American Krayzelburg aims to complete a backstroke double by adding the 200 crown to the 100 gold he won on Monday, while Hungary's Kovacs leads the way in the women's 200 metres breaststroke.
American Tom Dolan, who retained his Olympic 400 metres individual medley title on Sunday, also has his eyes on a Sydney golden double, having set the fastest semifinal time in the 200 metres individual medley.
European champion Massimiliano Rosolino, already a Sydney silver and bronze medallist, is Dolan's main rival for the gold.
As well as the four swimming titles, 14 other golds are set to be won elsewhere at the Olympics on Thursday.
They will be in the men's 50-metres rifle prone, men's 25-metres rapid fire pistol, women's team archery, women's skeet, badminton mixed doubles, women's points cycling race, women's individual foil, men's sabre, men's Madison cycling, women's 78-kg judo, women's allround gymnastics, men's 100-kg judo, men's Keirin cycling and men's doubles badminton.
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