Foster lowers world record again

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The Independent Online

Mark Foster broke the world short-course 50 metres butterfly record for the fourth time in two and a half years at Sheffield yesterday to confirm that he is in a class of his own in the discipline.

Foster romped through the final of the Uncle Ben's Winter Challenge in 23.45sec, to cut a tenth of a second off the mark he had set in the same Ponds Forge pool earlier this year. The one disappointment is that the 50m butterfly is not an Olympic event. Foster's consolation yesterday came in the form of a pounds 5,000 bonus, on offer for a world record at this week's event.

Foster first claimed the world record in February 1993. He equalled it and then beat it in March 1994, and then lowered it again in February.

Four British records were also broken in one of the most memorable finals session seen at a national championships.

Ian Wilson took 6.76sec off the British 1500m record in 14min 40.69sec, Neil Willey the claimed the 50m backstroke record in 24.88sec, and Lucy Findley broke the women's 400m individual medley mark in 4:40.95sec in being beaten in the final by Hana Cerna of the Czech Republic.

James Hickman continued the record-breaking in the evening's heats by setting a British 200m butterfly best of 1min 56.37sec.