Aug. 1, 2009
ROME - Former Cal standout Milorad Cavic, who won the silver medal in the 100-meter butterfly at the 2008 Beijing Olympics for Serbia, again had a showdown with USA star Michael Phelps in the 100 fly, this time getting edged out 49.82 to 49.95 Saturday, Aug. 1, at the World Championships in Rome. Both swimmers broke the World Record of 50.01 set by Cavic on Thursday in the event's semifinals. The two rivals are the first swimmers to ever clock under 50.00 in the 100 fly.
Earlier at the World Championships, Cavic had captured the gold medal in the 50-meter butterfly on July 27. Swimming for the Golden Bears from 2003-06, he was part of four national champion relay teams as a member of Cal's 400 free relay in 2003; and 200 free, 400 free and 200 medley relays in 2005. Cavic was also the individual Pac-10 champion in the 100 fly in both 2003 and 2004. He grew up in Tustin, Calif. after his parents, Dusko and Ljilljana, had immigrated to the United States in 1982. Cavic is the first Serbian swimmer to win an Olympic medal.
In another top competition Saturday, former Cal sprinter Duje Draganja placed fourth (21.38) and junior Nathan Adrian placed sixth (21.49) in the finals of the 50-meter freestyle. On July 26, Adrian had swum the anchor leg (46.79) of the United States' gold medal-winning 400-meter free relay team that included Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Matt Grevers. Team USA touched just 31-hundredths of second ahead of second-place Russia (3:09.52) with a meet record time of 3:09.21.
Adrian was a 2008 Olympic gold medalist as a member of the United States' 400-meter freestyle relay team in Beijing and went on to become the 2009 NCAA champion in the 50 (18.71) and 100-yard freestyle (41.08) last March in College Station, Texas. Adrian was the 2009 Pac-10 champion in the 50, 100 and 200 free as well, earning Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year accolades. Draganja, the 2004 Olympic silver medalist in the 50-meter free for Croatia, was a five-time NCAA champion as a member of Cal relays and was the individual national champion in the 100 free in 2003 and 2005, and the 100 fly in 2005.
In another World Championship final, former Bear breaststroker Henrique Barbosa was seventh in the 200-meter breaststroke (2:09.35) on Friday. Barbosa was the 2006 NCAA champion for Cal in both the 100 and 200 breast and is now swimming for his native Brazil.