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Five records broken at world championships

Latest update : 2008-04-12

Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry broke the 200-metre backstoke world record while American Ryan Lochte clocked the fastest time ever in the 200-metre individual medley .Five world records were smashed at the world short-course swimming championships.

MANCHESTER, England, April 11 (Reuters) - Five world records
were shattered on an extraordinary night at the world
short-course swimming championships on Friday.

Zimbabwe's Olympic champion Kirsty Coventry broke her second
world record in three days, claiming her third title in the 200
metres backstroke as the world record tally soared to nine.

World marks were also set by Australian Felicity Galvez in
the women's 50 butterfly, Croatia's Duje Draganja in the men's
50 freestyle, American Ryan Lochte in the 200 individual medley
and the U.S. in the women's 4x100 medley relay.

Coventry, who broke the 400 individual medley world mark on
Wednesday, raced away in the 200 backstroke in two minutes 00.91
seconds, annihilating the 2:03.24 world mark set by Japan's
Reiko Nakamura in Tokyo on Feb. 23 this year.

"I am tired. My legs (are) sore," said Coventry. "I'm very
excited about that time. I'm excited I'm having a great meet."

Olympic silver medallist Draganja won in 20.81 seconds to
beat the 20.93 world mark set by Stefan Nystrand of Sweden last
November and retain his 50 freestyle crown ahead of Briton Mark
Foster, bidding to become swimming's oldest world champion.


"World records come and go. What matters is that I am the
world record holder now," said Draganja. "I will celebrate
tonight because tomorrow I might not have the record."

Foster, four times 50 freestyle gold medallist, had to
settle for silver in 21.31 but said: "I'm not disappointed as I
aimed for the stars and ended up on the moon, which isn't bad".

Lochte, who retained his 400 individual medley crown on
Thursday, won an enthralling duel with newly-crowned 100
backstroke champion Liam Tancock of Britain.

The American triumphed in 1:51.56 to beat the 1:52.99 set by
Laszlo Cseh of Hungary at the European short-course
championships in Debrecen last December.

"It was a great race. I wouldn't have done it without these
guys pushing me," said Lochte.

Galvez clocked 25.32 in the 50 butterfly to shave 0.01
seconds off Swede Anna-Karin Kammerling's 2005 mark.

"It still hasn't kind of set in," said Galvez. "I never
believed I could set the world record, so it's a bit of a shock.
I'm just so excited."

The U.S. won the medley relay in 3:51.36, beating the
3:51.84 set by Australia at the 2006 world short-course
championships in Shanghai. Australia were second.


U.S.-based Coventry, who also won the 100 backstroke on
Thursday, was way inside world record schedule all the way in
the 200 backstroke and won by nearly two seconds.

Briton Lizzie Simmonds, who was also inside the old world
mark in 2:02.60, was second with defending champion Margaret
Hoelzer third.

However, Coventry was denied a fourth gold later in the
evening when she finished third in the 100 individual medley
behind victor Australian Shayne Reese.

Kylie Palmer, silver medallist in Thursday's 800 freestyle,
struck gold in the women's 400 freestyle in 3:59.23 as
Australia's women won three titles on the night.

Russia's Yuri Prilukov claimed his third successive world
short-course 400 freestyle title, winning in 3:37.35 to add a
silver to the bronze he took in Wednesday's 200 freestyle.

Marleen Veldhuis, who shared a world record in the Dutch
women's 4x200 freestyle relay on Wednesday, got her second gold
of the championships with a runaway win in the 100 freestyle.

Veldhuis, who won the 50 and 100 freestyle at last month's
European long-course championships in Eindhoven, hurtled through
the first 50 metres inside world record pace to win in 52.17.

Kris Gilchrist won the 200 breaststroke for hosts Britain in
2:06.18, just 0.03 seconds ahead of Thursday's 100 breaststroke
winner Igor Borysik of Ukraine.

Date created : 2008-04-12