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Japan's Ryosuke Irie smashes 200m backstroke world record

Latest update : 2009-05-10

Osaka university student Ryosuke Irie broke the men's 200-metre backstroke world record with a time of one minute 52.86 seconds at the Duel in the Pool meet between Japan and Australia.

REUTERS - Japanese teenager Ryosuke Irie set a world record for the men's 200 metres backstroke at a low-key international meet in Australia on Sunday.

The 19-year-old powered his way to victory in the "Duel in the Pool" meet between Japan and Australia to stop the clock at one minute, 52.86 seconds.

His time at the Australian Institute of Sport pool in Canberra wiped 1.08 seconds off the previous world record of 1:53.94 set by American Ryan Lochte in the Olympic final at Beijing last year.

"I couldn't think I could go that fast," Irie told Australian television, speaking through a translator.

"I can say only one phrase: unbelievable."

Irie finished fifth behind Lochte in Beijing but has since established himself as the top men's backstroker in the world.

He came within 0.08 of Lochte's world record at the Japanese national championships in April then was just 0.02 outside Aaron Peirsol's 100 backstroke record at the Duel in the Pool on Saturday.

Irie won Sunday's race by more than five seconds, a huge margin in a sport where medals are often decided by hundredths of a second, and promised to go even quicker at this year's World Championships in Rome.

"I am going to swim in the World Championships and I am going to break (the world record) again," he said. (

Date created : 2009-05-10