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Evans' longtime mark: gone

August 16, 2008|Randy Harvey

BEIJING -- Janet Evans is in the record books no more. Swimming's oldest record, the one she set in the 800-meter freestyle on Aug. 20, 1989, was broken at the Water Cube on Saturday.

Britain's Rebecca Adlington, who was six months old when Evans set the record, swam the race in 8 minutes 14.10 seconds, taking more than two seconds off the previous record of 8:16.22.

Considering the number of records that have fallen this year with the new swimsuit technology, it was a wonder that Evans' record made it all the way to August. There have been 23 world records set since just since the start of competition here.

Adlington earlier won the 400 freestyle, becoming the first British women's swimming champion since 1960. She easily beat Italian silver medalist Alessia Filippi in the 800.

"If anyone had said before the Games that I'd win two races and break a world record, I would have laughed in their face," she said. "I never thought it. It's the Olympic Games. Everyone raises the bar. I was expecting such a fight."

Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry also set a world record in defending her 200 backstroke title.

She finished in 2:05.24, breaking the record held by the United States' Margaret Hoelzer, who captured the silver medal.

Cesar Cielo Filho became the first Brazilian to win an Olympic swimming gold medal with a victory in the 50 freestyle.

In the women's 50 free, Dara Torres, 41, won her semifinal heat to advance to the final.

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