Poll holds off world champion

Claudia Poll upstaged the world champion Franziska van Almsick to clinch the Olympic women's 200 metres freestyle title yesterday and secure Costa Rica's first swimming gold medal.

Poll went one better than her sister Silvia, who took the silver medal in the event at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

She fully deserved her victory over the German favourite. Van Almsick, silver medallist behind American Nicole Haislett at the 1992 Barcelona Games aged just 14, seized the lead on the first length but Poll had caught her by the 100-metre mark when she had the edge by 0.02 of a second.

The 23-year-old Costa Rican, bronze medallist behind the victorious van Almsick at the 1994 world championships in Rome, pulled further clear on the third length of the Georgia Tech pool and held her advantage to win in 1min 58.16sec.

Van Almsick had to settle for her second Olympic silver in 1:58.57. Her fellow former East German Dagmar Hase, the Olympic 400 freestyle champion, took the bronze in 1:59.56, just 0.01 of a second ahead of the American Trina Jackson.

Penny Heyns, the South African who lowered 100m breaststroke world record to 1min 07.02sec in qualifying for the final, duly won the gold medal but she could not improve on her time from the heats. She held off the 14-year-old American Amanda Beard to win in 1:07.73.

The host nation finally collected its first gold medal when the world champion Tom Dolan won the men's 400m individual medley title after a duel with his compatriot Eric Namesnik. It was not until the final length that Dolan eased ahead.

Canada's Curtis Myden, who led on the opening butterfly leg, took the bronze.

Britain's men's 4 x 200m team swam superbly to finish fifth a British record time of 7:18.74 in an exciting final won by the United States, in 7:14.84, ahead of Sweden.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Software Tester

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software Tester is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Developer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: The Company sells mobile video advertising sol...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have a vacancy within our ra...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - 1st Line Helpdesk - West London - £25,000

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - 1st Line Helpde...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project