BARCELONA, Spain -- She didn't set a world record. She didn't even break into a smile.
All Anita Nall of Towson, Md., did this morning was grimly swim her way to a preliminary triumph in the women's 200-meter breaststroke at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
On a hot, humid day, with temperatures soaring into the upper 80's before noon, Nall finished in 2:27.77 and emerged as the fastest qualifier for tonight's final.
Nall's time was nearly two seconds slower than her world record standard of 2:25.35, established at the U.S. trials in March.
She also had to fight off a fast-closing Kyoko Iwasaki of Japan, who finished second in the heat in 2:27.78.
While Nall's time clearly establishes herself as a solid medal contender, Jill Johnson, a Lutherville, Md., native, found herself on the outside after the morning heats.
Johnson finished second in her heat in 2:30.80. It appeared the time would hold up for the final, but when five swimmers finished faster in the final heat, Johnson was eliminated.
"I just didn't push it to the wall," said Johnson, 23, a Stanford graduate who will attend Boston College law school in the fall.