Lochte off to blazing start at worlds | other | Hindustan Times
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Lochte off to blazing start at worlds

other Updated: Dec 16, 2010 00:41 IST

AFP
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Ryan Lochte of the United States set a championship record with his first swim on the opening day of the 10th FINA World Short Course Championships on Wednesday.

The American clocked 1:42.38 to win his 200m freestyle heat, getting his medal campaign off to a winning start by shattering the previous long-standing record of 1:43.28 set by Australia's Ian Thorpe in Hong Kong in 1999

"It was a good race. My first race is usually my worst, but I was lucky enough to win this one. I'm excited for tonight's final - it's going to be great with so many good competitors in the line-up," said Lochte.

Seven other swimmers also eclipsed Thorpe's mark, including Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli, who finished as second fastest qualifier with a time of 1:42.41.

"I felt really good. The pool is great and the atmosphere is fantastic. The 200m free isn't my event, but I'm just planning to race these guys as hard as I can." said Mellouli. The other individual championship record went to Italy's Scozzoli who swam 57.60 to set a new mark in the 100m breaststroke.