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WR: Lochte 51.25 100m Medley

Apr 12, 2008  - Craig Lord

Jessica Hardy (USA) raced 0.45sec inside the world-record pace of Leisel Jones (AUS) on her way to a 1:04.22 championship-record victory in the 100m breaststroke at the world short-course championships in Manchester. Jones's 1:03.86 monument is safe, while Hardy, who turned in 29.98, moved ahead of her Aussie rivals on this short-course season's rankings and celebrated a US record

The silver went to Jade Edminstone (AUS), in a best of 1:04.93, and bronze went to Suzaan Van Biljon, of South Africa, in 1:05.38, just 0.02sec shy of her national record.

Asked about her preparations for meeting Jones in Beijing, Hardy, coached by Dave Salo at Trojan SC, said: 'I'm taking one day at a time, we'll see what happens.'

The new all-time top 5:
1:03.86 Jones AUS
1:04.22 Hardy USA
1:04.79 Kirk USA
1:04.93 Edminstone AUS
1:04.95 Efimova RUS

Another Salo charge, Peter Marshall (USA), upset Liam Tancock (GBR) by a fingernail in the 50m backstroke, claiming the crown in 23.49, to 23.53, with bronze going to Ashley Delaney (AUS), on 23.57, ahead of Thomas Rupprath (GER), on 23.65 and away from his world record of 23.23 a week before Germany's Olympic trials in Berlin.

Tancock was back in the water an hour later to set a European record of 52.27 in the 100m medley. His championship record did not last long: Ryan Lochte (USA) was up next, and settled the argument in 51.25, a world record inside the 51.52 that had stood to Ryk Neethling (RSA) since February 2005.

At 32, Adam Pine (AUS) is a world champion. His 22.78sec blast in the 50m butterfly kept him ahead of Sergiy Breus (UKR), on 22.86, with the bronze going to Evgeni Korotyshkin (RUS), on 22.94. A proud moment on the podium for Pine and his wife Sasha and their children, Max and Buster, back home.

In the semis of the women's 50m backstroke, Sanja Jovanovic (CRO) set a championship record of 26.71.

The semis of the 100m freestyle were marked by a serious head shake from world long-course champion Filippo Magnini (ITA), the only man in the event who was not wearing the LZR Racer: he clocked 47.77 in the first semi, looked up at the scoreboard and read 1: Nabil Kebbab (ALG) 47.66. Kebbab was out in lane 8 and 0.95sec inside his best. Magnini then watched Duje Draganja (CRO) clock a 47.60 in the second semi in a manner that suggested it wasn't so much a race as a warm down. Expect a final with fireworks.

Fastest through to the 50m freestyle final was Brit Francesca Halsall, celebrating her 18th birthday with a 24.20 best time. Marleen Veldhuis (NED) was next through, in 24.29.

Felicity Galvez (AUS) stormed into lane four of the 100m butterfly in 56.63, ahead of Jemma Lowe (GBR), who set a British record of 56.99 s couple of minutes after teammate Ellen Gandy, at 16 the baby of Britain's Olympic team in Beijing, set the mark at 58.39 in the first semi.