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Women's 200m freestyle gets underway

30 July 2002

Petria Thomas qualifies comfortably along with England's Karen Pickering.

Karen Pickering

Karen Pickering qualified fastest in the 200m freestyle preliminaries

Petria Thomas, who is in contention for eight medals, claimed the privilege of winning the first swimming race of the Games when she cruised to victory in her women’s 200 metres freestyle heat.

Her time of 2.01.08 was subsequently beaten by England's Karen Pickering who recorded the fastest qualifier of 2.00.89 with Jessica Deglau of Canada third in 2.01.13.

Petria Thomas said afterwards: “That felt a bit rough, but that’s to be expected. It was good to get into the water and have a swim.”

Fellow Australian Giaan Rooney, who placed second in heat two in 2:01.73 said: “My legs hurt, that was one of the hardest races I’ve done. Hopefully it was just a morning swim, and I’ll feel better tonight in the final.”

Elka Graham, the fifth fastest qualifier for the final with 2:01.23 in the third heat commented: “That felt really good. I’m happy with that. I just wanted to concentrate on swimming easy and bringing home the last 50.”


Karen Pickering (ENG) 2:00.89
Petria Thomas (AUS) 2:01.08
Jessica Deglau (CAN) 2:01.13
Karen Legg (ENG) 2:01.18
Elka Graham (AUS) 2:01.23
Helene Muller (RSA) 2:01.68
Jennifer Button (CAN) 2:01.71
Giaan Rooney (AUS) 2:01.73

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