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Ex-Olympian Janet Evans breaks new record

June 11, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
It's been 15 years since Janet Evans swam at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

At age 39, the mother of two proved Saturday she's serious about her comeback for the 2012 London Olympics.

In her hometown of Fullerton, at a pool that bears her own name, Evans set a new Master's world record in the 35 to 39 year old age group. She swam the 400-meter freestyle in 4 minutes, 23.82 seconds.

"I was a little jittery," she said. "My first race this morning I really hadn't set off on a start by the starter in 17, 16 years."

She also set a record in the 800-meter freestyle. These are the two events that earned her Olympic gold four times, three at the Seoul games in 1988 and once more in Barcelona in 1992.

"This is something that she wanted to try and she doesn't really have a lot to prove," said Evans' husband, Bill Wilson. "I think she's just doing it to go out and have fun with it. She's been working hard the last several months for this and we're all behind her."

Evans said she's been swimming at 4:30 a.m. in preparation.

She was 17 when she set the world record in the 400 freestyle at the 1988 Seoul games.