Nov. 25, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. - Former Arizona State Sun Devil and six-time All-American Bobby Zaabadick (Litchfield Park, Ariz.) earned a gold medal for the United States in the 50m freestyle today at the FINA World Cup meet at the Chung-mu Swimming Pool in Daejeon, South Korea. The medal is Zaabadick's first in international competition and comes during the initial meet of the 2003-04 World Cup season.
Zaabadick clocked a 22.29 in the 50m free to take home the win and defeat Germany's Stefan Herbst (22.39), who was gunning for his fourth gold medal of the meet. Korea's Chung Hee Lee (22.56) took third. During the two-day meet, the former Sun Devil also competed in the 100m freestyle (50.57) and the 50m butterfly (26.15), finishing eighth in both.
"This is great for Bobby," said Arizona State's Associate Head Swimming Coach Adam Schmitt, the Sun Devils' sprint coach specialist. "For him to represent the US against international competition will really help him to prepare for the Olympic Trials in June. This is a huge step for him."
Zaabadick qualified for the US team by virtue of his silver medal in the 50m freestyle this summer at the US Summer National Championships and his world ranking in the 50 free of 34th, fifth highest among all Americans. He competed for ASU during the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons and is fifth all-time in the school record books for the 50-yard freestyle (19.79).
Another former Sun Devil competing internationally is Claire Hedenskog, who was named to Sweden's team for the European Short Course Championships to be held December 11-14, in Dublin, Ireland. She is currently the third-fastest Swede in both the short course 50m freestyle (25.31) and the short course 100m freestyle (55.56). Her 100m time makes her the 12th-fastest Swede ever in that event.
Hedenskog competed at ASU from 2000-03 and earned 11 All-American honors during her time as a Sun Devil. She is the fastest 50-yard freestyler in school history (22.64) and is third all-time in the 100-yard free (50.17).