INTRODUCTION: American swimmers gave world record performances at the United States Swimming International to take five out of ten individual events in Gainesville, Florida on Friday (2 January).
TGV Start of men's 800-metre freestyle event and race in progress at O'Connell Centre Pool. Gainesville, Florida, USA, computer time board, and final lap to finish. Race won by Alexander Chaev of USSR (3 shots)
GV Start of women's 200 metres butterfly event and race underway to finish. Race won by Mary Meagher of USA. Result board (3 shots)
GV Start of men's 200-metres butterfly and race in progress as crowd cheers and applauds. Race won by Craig Beardsley of USA (4 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: American swimmers gave world record performances at the United States Swimming International to take five out of ten individual events in Gainesville, Florida on Friday (2 January). Tracy Caulkins, Mary Meagher, Craig Beardsley and Rick Carey led the way. The fifth individual winner was David McCagg. Apart from the Americans, one of the best overall individual performances came from the Soviet Union's Alexander Chaev, the silver medallist in the Olympic 1500 metres. He won the 800-metres event more than four seconds under the world record time. In the butterfly events. 16-year-old Mary T. Meagher and Craig Beardsley overcame determined competition to win the women's and men's championship finals seconds under the world record times.
SYNOPSIS: The 800-metres men's freestyle event attracted a world class line up. In lane one, Rainer Henkel of West Germany. Lane two, Ron McKeon of Australia. In lane three, the Soviet Union' Alexander Chaev. Max Metker, of Australia, in lane four. East Germany's Rainer Strohbach, in lane five. Ron Nugent and James Lorys, both of the United States, in lanes six and seven, and Canadian, Peter Szmid in lane eight. In the final lap, Alexander Chaev sped away to win the event in a new world record time of seven minutes, 52-point-51 seconds.
In the women's 200 metres butterfly event East German Olympic gold medallist, Ines Geissler, in lane three, was pitted against an all-American line up. Her main competition came from lanes four and five, occupied by Mary T. Meagher and Tracy Caulkins. The current world, American and U.S. open-record holder for the event. Nancy Hogshead, swam a disappointing race, finishing fourth in lane six. Miss Meagher sheared more than four seconds off Miss Hogshead's old record to win the event. In second place, Tracy Caulkins finished an equally creditable two seconds inside the old time. East Germany's Ines Geissler finished third.
The men's 200-metre butterfly event was much closer. The Soviet Union's Olympic god medallist, Serge Fesenko, in lane six fought fiercely with American Craig Beardsley and Swede, Thomas Lejdstroem. Beardsley finished first with a time of one minute 57-point-19 seconds. Fesenko was pipped for second place by the Swede, Lejdstroem.