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Goodwill Games: Scherer in display of pure speed

THE BRAZILIAN swimmer Fern-ando Scherer equalled the fourth-fastest time in history for the men's 50 metres freestyle on Sunday as the World team trounced Germany 85-37 to win the Goodwill Games gold medal.

On the final day of the Games, Scherer managed to record 22.18sec, but he clearly believed that but for a slight mistake he would have been able to achieve an even better time. "I missed the wall by just a little," he said. "Just a quicker touch and I would have been a little faster."

Scherer, who lives and trains in Florida, also clocked the fourth-fastest split time in the men's 4x100 metres relay with a time of 48.69.

His performance overshadowed the double Olympic gold medallist Alexander Popov, who clocked 22.27 in helping Russia to a 63-59 win over the United States in the team competition.

"The races were really competitive and it was mentally tough to swim," Popov said.

In the only other competitive event on Sunday, the top-seeded Brazilians Adriana Behar and Sheldar Bede disposed of the fourth-ranked Australians Kerri Pottharst and Pauline Manser 12-9 12-5 in the women's beach volleyball final.

Brazil had also taken the men's title in Central Park on the previous Sunday.

The Brazilian duo trailed 6-4 before finding their rhythm with a series of booming serves which left their Australian opponents scrambling in the sand on the makeshift surface at the Woollman ice skating rink.

"We train every day, one hour on serving," said Bede. "I don't know what other teams do, but we put a lot of stress on our serves."