Records tumble in Dubai

DUBAI - The number of Championship Records (CR) broken at the midway point of the 10th FINA World Championships (25m) reached 30 on Friday, with five more smashed in the morning heats.

By (Alex Leach)

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Published: Sun 19 Dec 2010, 12:13 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:57 AM

Russia’s Stanislav Donets followed up his CR in the men’s 100m backstroke the previous evening with another milestone during the 10th heat of the men’s 50m backstroke (23.24s), where he dipped underneath Liam Tancock’s prior best (23.41s) set in Manchester two years ago.

Daniel Gyurta (2:04.46s), of Hungary, also bettered Brendan Hansen’s 2004 clocking (2:04.98s) by more than half a second in the men’s 200m breaststroke, while — in the women’s 4x100m relay — China’s female quartet (3:50.69s) eclipsed the efforts of their American counterparts (3:51.36s) from 2008.

Elsewhere, there were no notable shocks in the other disciplines as many pre-final favourites progressed safely through without any trouble.

Melissa Franklin qualified first in the women’s 200m backstroke and admitted afterwards the poolside surroundings and camaraderie within the American camp are helping to enhance her performances.

“It was an amazing race and it’s the most incredible pool,” the women’s 100m backstroke gold medallist said.

“Team USA have been supporting each other; I love being a part of it and making them proud of me.”

Venezuela’s Albert Subirats (22.79s) – who agonisingly finished runner-up to Evgeny Korotyshkin by one-hundredth of a second in Thursday’s men’s 100m butterfly final – ended up ahead of the men’s 50m butterfly field, including 16th qualifier Korotyshkin.

Kenya’s Jason Dunford (22.80s) was only one-hundredth of a second off Subirats’ time, with Australia’s Geoff Huegill (22.92s) a little further back in fifth.

“It’s pretty good,” Subirats said. “I’ve come out of the 50m backstroke and I was pretty happy with my performances.

“It’s good, but it’s not the meet that I was really hoping for; I’m just in between switching my training schedules.

“But, I’m pleased with how it’s going, so — hopefully — I can enjoy the rest of the meet.”

America’s Rebecca Soni out-qualified Liesel Jones, of Australia, in the women’s 100m breaststroke heats and remains on course for a sprint double following her success in the 50m equivalent.

“I had a really good rhythm in the first 50m and I’m happy with my result,” she said. “Liesel and I have a really good rivalry.”

Jones herself echoed those sentiments, adding: “I just love racing against her as she’s a really tough competitor. I can learn so much from her.

“I think it will be a great rivalry for the next year and a half as we lead into London 2012.”

Tunisian Oussama Mellouli and the USA’s Ryan Lochte were — for once — not in direct competition and both prospered in the men’s 400m freestyle and men’s 200m individual medley respectively.

“I’m very happy with my time,” Mellouli said. “I’ll do my best to race these guys as much as I can. I have a lot of expectation and I hope to win.”

Lochte said: “It was a good morning swim. It was comfortable, but it’s going to be tough. There’s going to be three or four guys who are going to be pushing all of the way. It’s going to be a great race to watch.”

Meanwhile, it appears Lochte’s supposed invincibility has got around the locker room, with Austrian Markus Rogan jokingly explaining: “I can beat him in everything, except butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle.”

Finally, Italy’s Federica Pellegrini (4:02.44s) touched home fourth in the women’s 400m freestyle heats behind Kathryn Hoff (USA, 4:00.37s), Coralie Balmy (FRA, 4:00.73s) and Kylie Palmer (AUS, 4:01.45s).

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