Swimming: Chinese are foiled by Rolph

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CHINA UNDERLINED their supremacy at a World Cup short-course meeting in Beijing yesterday when they powered to 12 gold medals out of a possible 17 on the final day.

The gold rush left China with a total of 23 golds over the two-day event. Germany came in a distant second in the medal count with three golds. China's men claimed four of the last-day golds while the women cleaned up in eight of the nine events.

The only women's gold which eluded China was the 100m individual medley, won by Britain's Sue Rolph in 1:03.45.

The Olympic and world champion Claudia Poll again settled for silver after losing to China's Chen Hua in the women's 400m freestyle, won in four minutes 07.04sec. The Costa Rican, whose priority is the defence of her 200 and 400m freestyle crowns at April's world short-course championships in Hong Kong, took a silver yesterday in the 800m.

China's 16-year-old Ouyang Kunpeng dominated the men's 50m backstroke with a time of 25.11sec, while Deng Qingsong took the men's 200m freestyle in 1:48.88.

The meeting was the fourth leg of the 12-event World Cup series.