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US Aaron Peirsol grabs gold in 200m backstroke

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-07-31

America’s Aaron Peirson has won his second gold medal of the World Championships in the 200m backstroke. Elsewhere, French sprinters Frédérick Bousquet and Amaury Leveaux have qualified for the final and are both in with a chance.

Double gold for Peirsol

 

Once again, no other swimmer could come close to Aaron Peirsol. The US backstroke specialist is already world champion in the 100m and now he has added the 200m category as well by winning gold in Rome Friday. He finished first in front of Japan’s Ryosuke Irie and America’s Ryan Lochte. Peirsol beat his own record (1'53"08) to finish in a stunning 1'51"92.

 

The Beijing revenge


Still in the mens category, Michael Phelps and his adversary Milorad Cavic easily qualified for the 100m mens butterfly. Saturday will bring the Serb’s opportunity to have his revenge on the eight-time Olympic champion to whom he lost to in just one hundredth of a second at the Beijing Games.

 

The final will likely be a very fast one as Cavic broke Phelp's record in 50"01 at Friday's semi-final. However, the results may be a little skewed by the controversial performance-enhancing polyurethane swimming suits. Cavic will wear one, but not Phelps...

 

Mission accomplished for the French

 

Amaury Leveaux, who decided to take part in the competition despite his father's recent death, finished second in the first semi-final. He swam the 50m freestyle in 21"32, just three hundredth of a second behind Croatia's Draganja. In the second leg, Frédérick Bousquet - who won the bronze medal in the 100m freestyle yesterday - made the best time of the series (21"21) to beat Brazilian Cesar Cielo.


Steffen, Queen of the Sprint

 

Germany’s Britta Steffen had one of the best performances of the World Championships. The Olympic champion dominated the 100m freestyle, even if she lagged behind her main rival Australian Lisbeth Trickett in the first half of the race, she finally won and beat her own record by achieving 52"07.

 

Gold and world record for the US relay team

 

The US men’s relay team ended the day on a high note by sealing a new 4x200 freestyle title in a record time of 6’58’’55. The US team narrowly beat the Russians to take the title, who were neck and neck with the Americans in the last laps. Australia claimed the bronze medal.


Avalanche of records

 

In addition to the world records mentioned above, Sweden's Therese Alshammar clocked 25''07 in the 50m ladies' butterfly semi-final, beating the previous time of Magdalena Veldhuis, who swam it in 25''28 just a few minutes earlier in the other semi-final.

 

A total of 35 world records have been broken since the championships in Rome began. However, only three of them were accomplished without the controversial 100% polyurethan swimsuits. Many of these records may remain unbeaten for a while. The FINA, the international swimming federation announced today that the performance-enhancing swimsuit will be banned from January 1, 2010.

Date created : 2009-07-30

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