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Hurley Takes Down Rupprath S/C World Record

Oct 26, 2008  - Craig Lord

The bull run on world records continued with a 23.24 short-course effort in the 50m backstroke by Robert Hurley, of Australia, on the last day of action at the FINA-Arena World Cup in Sydney.

The record had stood at  23.27 to Germany's Thomas Rupprath since December 2004. Hurley who won the race by 0.39sec over Stanislav Donets (RUS), was back later to win the 200m backstroke in 1:52.39.

Hurley, 20, told the assembled media: "It felt like I was going pretty fast but I didn't think I was going 23-low. The world record's been around for a long time so it's a very exciting swim."

A freestyle specialist until now, Hurley, who trains out of the Australian Institute of Sport, raced in  lane six. He said: "I felt I was going fast but not a 23 low." It took him 20 minutes to get a bodysuit on for the Arena World Cup race. "It’s the first time I’ve worn the full body suit and I was looking for a fast time. It made me feel really good under water." The bodysuit continues to be the key theme in the pool these days - even in FINA's official coverage of the world cup from Sydney. 

Elsewhere, Oussama Mellouli, the US-based Tunisian and Olympic 1,500m free  crown,, continued to dominate, doing just enough to win the longest pool race, in a modest 15:06.23. He then won the 200m free in 1:43.05.

Christian Sprenger (AUS) kept up his winning ways on breaststroke, clocking 58.47 in the 100m and leaving the pack well back. There were three wins for South African Katheryn Meaklim, in the 400m medley (4:31.52), the 200m butterfly (2:08.85) and the 200m breaststroke (2:23.86).

The man who took down the world s/c record in the 50m 'fly yesterday, Matt

Jaukovic, 22, clocked 50.50 to win the 100m, while fellow Australian Emily Seebohm claimed the 100m backstroke in 57.91 and the 100m medley in 1:00.39. 

The Sydney round of the cup continued the trend for the series to be dominated by domestic competition and shy of a weighty international entry. 

Results in full