Highlights from meets in Rome, Eindhoven and Moscow
Rome - Seven Hills Meet
Stephanie Rice (AUS) was several strokes away from her world record in the 400m medley but in 4:35.17 she was faster than she has ever been in international competition before and kept at bay Hannah Miley (GBR), on 4:37.60, and Kathryn Meaklim (RSA), 4:40.98.
Sara Isakovic (SLO) put in a sharp 2:07.05 in the 200m butterfly ahead of Olympic champion Otylia Jedrzejczak (POL), on 2:07.12, with Yuko Nakanishi (JPN) third in 2:08.54. Former world champion Pawel Korzeniowski (POL) claimed the men's equivalent in 1:56.37 ahead of an Italian record for Niccolo Beni, of 1:56.99, 0.58 inside the standard that had stood to Francesco Vespe since 2006. Michael Rock (GBR) took third in 1:58.09.
Alessia Filippi (ITA) did not quite match the speed attained by Rebecca Adlington (GBR) back in April but rested for a final test before Beijing, the Italian clocked a national record of 8:20.70 ahead of the Brit, on 8:27.60. Third place went to Wendy Trott (RSA), in 8:28.77. Adlington, who is training through the Rome meet, swam 8:19.22 at British trials.
Emily Seebohm (AUS) swam a 1:00.10 100m backstroke to keep Hanae Ito (JPN) at bay by just 0.04sec, with Lizzie Simmonds (GBR) third in 1:01.24. Randall Bal (USA), world cup winner, raced to a 53.70 win in the 100m backstroke ahead of Liam Tancock (GBR), on 54.37 and Tomomi Morita (JPN), on 54.38. The 400m medley went to Alessio Boggiatto (ITA), in 4:15.87, ahead of British teammates Thomas Haffield, 4:18.29, and Euan Dale, 4:18.30.
Francesca Halsall (GBR) set a British record of 54.27 in the 100m freestyle ahead of Josefin Lillhage (SWE), 54.97, and Caitlin McClatchey (GBR), 55.42. In the men's 200m freestyle, Nicola Cassio led the way on 1:48.11.
Leisel Jones (AUS) took the 50m breaststroke in 30.82 and Cameron van der Burgh (RSA) got the touch in the men's equivalent, on 27.90.
Eindhoven - Dutch Nationals
There's much life left yet in Pieter van den Hoogeband (NED), Olympic 100m (2000, 2004) and 200m (2000) champion. At his home pool in Eindhoven, he clocked 1:45.96 in the 200m, a second or so away from his best.
Elsewhere, Femke Heemskerk sdet a national record of 1:02.65 in the backstroke leg of the 4x100m medley relay, shaving 0.05sec off the standard set 24 years ago on June 23, as she prepared for the 1984 Olympic Games at which she would take bronze in the 100m and gold in the 200m.
Marleen Veldhuis took the 100m butterfly in 58.14 and Robin van Aggele set a meet record of 53.55 in the men's equivalent.
Moscow - Russian Nationals
Anastasia Akesenova set a national record of 55.51 in the 100m freestyle to take down the 55.58 set by Natalia Mesheryakova on her way to serving a ban for a positive steroid test in 1997.