Aug. 17, 2004
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
University of Wyoming junior Scott Usher qualified for the finals of the 200 meter breaststroke at the2004 Olympic Games, by swimming the fifth fastest semi-final time in the event.
Usher, a Grand Island, Neb. native, swam to the fifth fastest semi-final time of 2:12.00 in the second heat. Hungarian Daniel Gyurta swam the fastest semi-final race as he touched the wall in 2:10.75. World record holder, and silver medalist in the 100 breaststroke, Brendan Hansen finished with the second fastest time of 2:10.81. The gold medalist in the 100 breaststroke, Kosuke Kitajima, swam the third fastest time of 2:10.86 and Italian Paolo Bossini finished just ahead of Usher in 2:11.76.
"I think that Scott might have gotten caught up in the moment a little and went out in the first 100 meters a little bit too fast,"said UW head coach Tom Johnson. "However, he has put himself in a position where anything can happen tomorrow night. He has nothing to lose. He just needs to be patient in the finals and swim his race."
Today's semi-finals will be televised, on a tape delay, tonight onNBC.
Usher earned a spot in the semi-finals by swimming the ninth fastest preliminary time of 2:13.59. Gyurta swam the fastest time of the six heats, finishing in 2:11.29. Kitajima (2:11.97), Bossini (2:12.09), Canadian Mike Brown (2:12.69) and Hansen (2:12.77) rounded out the top five preliminary times.
"Scott did really well in his opening heat," added Johnson."He had a nice and easy swim and looked very smooth. It was prettywarm, so everyone took it kind of easy in the preliminaries."
The finals of the 200 breaststroke will be held Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m. Mountain Time (7:30 p.m. Athens Time). The finals will be televised, on a tape delay, in prime time on NBC beginning at 7:00p.m. Mountain Time.
*see complete results at www.nbcolympics.com*