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Bennett Doubles in the Distances

Swimming: She sets adds gold in 800 freestyle to the one in 400 and breaks Evans' Olympic record.

September 23, 2000|From Staff and Wire Reports

SYDNEY, Australia — Brooke Bennett finally caught Janet Evans.

Bennett, of Plant City, Fla., took her second individual gold medal, winning the 800 freestyle in an Olympic record of 8 minutes 19.67 seconds. The previous mark, 8:20.20 by Janet Evans, stood since the 1988 Seoul Games.

Bennett, who also won the 400 freestyle, has been aiming for the Evans records for years.

"It's so exciting, so overwhelming to get two gold medals and break records," said Bennett, who was 3.45 seconds off Evans' 12-year-old world record of 8:16.22.

"Her times are the ones everybody looks at. I told myself that someday I'd like to break her records," she said.

Yana Klochkova of Ukraine was second in 8:22.66 for her third individual medal in these games.

Kaitlin Sandeno, 17, of Lake Forest, finished third in a personal-best 8:24.29.

"That time is unbelievable," said Sandeno, who rallied from her own disappointment in a fourth-place finish in the 400 individual medley on Day 1 of the meet.

"It's my best by over four seconds. The race was unbelievable."

Bennett was 16 when she won the 800 freestyle at the Atlanta Olympics, where Evans closed her stellar career with a sixth-place finish. Bennett joined Evans as the only women to win two consecutive Olympic 800 freestyle titles.

"To do it again four years later is definitely something great," Bennett said. "I'm proud of myself."

Klochkova won the first swimming medal in Sydney with a world-record time in the 400 individual medley and followed up with victory in the 200 IM. She was swimming in her first major international 800 freestyle final.

Favorite and world-record holder Michael Klim of Australia was upset in the 100 butterfly, finishing second to Lars Froelander of Sweden. Australian Geoff Huegill was third, and 18-year-old American Ian Crocker fourth, in 52.44, breaking the American record.

Diana Mocanu, a 16-year-old from Romania, completed a sweep of the women's backstroke events, winning the 200 in 2:08.16. She took gold in the 100 in an Olympic-record time Monday despite coming into Sydney ranked seventh in the world in both races.

Roxana Maracineanu of France, who was born in Romania, won silver and Miki Nakao of Japan took bronze. Amanda Adkins of Ghanna, Ohio, was fifth.

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