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Originally published April 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 14, 2008 at 12:27 AM

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Swimming | Bremerton High grad Adrian wins gold

Nathan Adrian of Bremerton won the 100-meter freestyle final Sunday, the last day of the short-course world swimming championships. Adrian, 19, graduated from...

MANCHESTER, England — Nathan Adrian of Bremerton won the 100-meter freestyle final Sunday, the last day of the short-course world swimming championships.

Adrian, 19, graduated from Bremerton High School in 2006. The 6-foot-6, 210-pounder has been training with The Race Club World Team of Tavernier, Fla.

Adrian triumphed in a meet-record time of 46.67 seconds, edging 26-year-old Filippo Magnini of Italy.

Magnini, who was the long-course world champion in the 100 free last year and in 2005, touched second in 46.70 and Duje Draganja of Croatia finished third in 46.83.

The United States earned the championship trophy. U.S. swimmers accounted for six world records and a meet-high 10 gold medals.

There were 18 world records set at the meet, six on Sunday.

Ryan Lochte of Daytona Beach, Fla., finished with four world records and Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe had three at the last major international meet before the Beijing Olympics in August.

All but one of the records were set by athletes wearing the Speedo LZR Racer suit.

The suit has also been worn in 18 of the 19 long-course world-record efforts since it was introduced in February.

"A world record is a world record," Lochte said. "It means you're the best in the world. If you break a world record, you can't be, like, 'Uh, all right.' It's something no one else can do and you should really remember that."

The space-age suit — which was designed with the help of NASA — supposedly makes swimmers go up to 2 percent faster.

"An athlete still has to train. None of us are walking across water," Coventry said. "It's just an Olympic year and everyone is swimming fast. Everyone is getting prepared and showing what to expect in Beijing."

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Magnini had hoped to wear a new Arena suit that is supposed to compete with the Speedo LZR, but the Arena suit could not be approved in time by swimming governing body FINA.

On Sunday, Lochte improved on his 100 individual-medley record, set in the semifinals a day earlier. He finished in 51.15 seconds, shaving 0.10 off his previous mark.

Lochte also set a world record in the 200 IM and led off the Americans' world-record swim in the 400 freestyle relay earlier in the week. He collected four gold medals and two silvers.

Other world records Sunday were set by Markus Rogan of Austria in the 200 backstroke, Sanja Jovanovic of Croatia in the women's 50 back, Felicity Galvez of Australia in the women's 100 butterfly, Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands in the women's 50 freestyle and Russia in the men's 400 medley relay.

Adrian and Lochte joined Randall Bal of Fair Oaks, Calif., and Mark Gangloff of Akron, Ohio, on a 400 medley-relay team that set an American record of 3:24.38 and earned a silver medal. Russia won the event in 3:24.29.

Rogan shed the label of eternal runner-up.

His previous best results at Olympics and world championships were seven silver medals. When he realized he had won the 200 back, Rogan slammed his fist into the water to celebrate.

"I didn't think I stood a chance," he said.

Rogan finished in 1:47.84. The previous record of 1:49.05 was set by Lochte in Shanghai, China, two years ago. Lochte was second this time, in 1:47.91.

Jovanovic improved on her world record, finishing in 26.37 seconds. Her old mark was 26.50, set at the European short-course worlds in December.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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