During the final day of the Mare Nostrum series in Monaco, Germany's Paul Biedermann broke Dutchman Pieter van den Hoogenband's seven-year old European record in the 200 Free. His time of 1:44.88 is one one-hundreth of a second better than the mark posted by the Flying Dutchman on his way to the 2002 European title. Click here to read the original story (not that I've figured out what language it is!).
After Biedermann broke Thorpe's 200 Free short course World Record last year, it was obvious he had more in the tank from his 1:46-flat fifth place finish in Beijing. However, I don't think anyone expected a drop like that. His time places him fourth on the all-time list, behind Michael Phelps, Ian Thorpe, and Olympic Silver Medalist Park Tae Hwan. This swim automatically throws Biedermann into contention for a medal, possibly even gold at this summer's World Championships. If Phelps chooses not to contest the event, Biedermann could even be considered the title favorite.
The Monaco 50 knockout rounds, always exciting, featured a near-American record. After the first four rounds, only former American record holder and 2007 World Silver medalist Cullen Jones and Olympic Bronze medalist Alain Bernard remained. In the final, Jones obliterated Bernard, swimming a lifetime best 21.58, 0.01 under the time that was once the American record. His time was just 0.11 off Garrett Weber-Gale's American record, and it sets him up as the favorite to win the national title in three weeks.
Click here to read Swimming World's story.