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World Swimming Championships: Crocker Takes Gold Medal in 100-meters Butterfly - 2003-07-27

American swimmer Ian Crocker has set a new world record in the men's 100-meters butterfly at the World Swimming Championships in Barcelona, Spain.

Crocker beat former world record holder Michael Phelps of the United States to take the gold medal in a new record time of 50.98 seconds. Phelps was second, and Andriy Serdinov of Ukraine was third.

Earlier, triple Olympic and world champion Inge de Bruijn of the Netherlands won the gold medal in the women's 50-meters butterfly race in 25.84 seconds, 16-100ths of one second ahead of American veteran Jenny Thompson. The bronze medal went to European champion and world record holder Anna-Karin Kammerling of Sweden.

Meanwhile in the women's 200-meters backstroke, Katy Sexton gave Britain its first ever individual women's world championship by capturing the gold medal in 2:8.74 minutes. American Margaret Hoelzer was second with Stanislava Komarova of Russia third.

Russia's Alexander Popov won the men's 50-meters freestyle championship. Britain's Mark Foster took the silver medal and the bronze went to Pieter van den Hoogenband of the Netherlands.

Germany's Hannah Stockbauer successfully defended her title in the women's 800-meters freestyle race, winning the championship in eight minutes, 23.66 seconds. American Diana Munz was second with the bronze medal going to Britain's Rebecca Cooke.

China's women's team won the four-by-100-meters medley relay event in just under four minutes (3:59.89). The United States was second with Australia finishing third.

In the men's water polo final, Hungary defeated Italy 11-9 to take the gold medal. In the third-place playoff game, Yugoslavia defeated Greece, 5-3 to take the bronze medal. Spain defeated the United States to earn fifth place in the tournament.

Saturday's action at the World Swimming championships was somewhat tempered by the sad news that Austrian Swimming Federation President Otmar Brix has died suddenly of a heart attack. He was 59.

The International Swimming Federation made the announcement in a statement Saturday. FINA said it had learned with great sadness of the loss of Otmar Brix overnight.

Brix had served as the head of the Austrian Federation since 1989. A period of silence was observed in his memory before the evening session of the world swimming championships.