Monday, 18 January 2010

Top 20 Swimmers of the 2000s - No.2 - Yana Klochkova

No. 2 - Yana Klochkova

Performance 2000-2009

Olympics - 4 Golds, 1 Silver
Worlds - 4 Golds, 1 Silver
WRs - 400 IM (2000-2007)
World Swimmer of the Year - 1 time - 2004

After Michael Phelps, the task of choosing a no.2 of the last decade gets decidedly trickier. There could be cases for atleast 8 or 9 swimmers for this spot, however, I've decided to go with the Ukrainian I.M. Queen, Yana Klochkova.

Klochkova secures the no.2 spot for her sheer dominance in the I.M events between the years 2000 and 2004, most notably in the Olympics. In Athens 2004, she became the first woman ever in Olympic swimming to win back-to-back pairs of individual gold medals in the same events. She also won silver in the 800 Free in 2000.

Her performances at Worlds were equally impressive. She won gold in the 400 IM (in 2001 and 2003), 200 IM (2003) and 400 Free (2001). In 2001 she suffered her only defeat internationally in Medley events in the period 2000-04 by winning silver at the Worlds in the 200 IM behind Martha Bowen (USA). Klochkova notably won only Golds or Silvers in all of her individual races in major competitions throughout the last decade.

She only held 1 longcourse WR in her career (albeit her 400 IM time of 4:33.59 lasted for 7 years), however the 200 IM record she failed to break was Wu Yanyan's somewhat tainted mark of 2:09.72. Klochkova's best time of 2:10.68 cleared Lin Li's previous WR by almost a second.

Klochkova may not be the most popular choice for the no.2 swimmer of the last decade, but few can argue with her dominance at major competitions.

To relive arguably Klochkova's greatest moment in swimming, click here.

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