Dubai, world s/c championships, day 2 finals:
Women's 50m breaststroke
Rebecca Soni (USA) has maintained a line that she is on a learning curve in short-course swimming here and cannot quite get going in time for a 50m race. Nonetheless she delivered a lesson to sprint specialists with a 29.83 victory in the dash, 0.01sec ahead of Commonwealth champion Leiston Pickett (AUS), with Zhao Jin (CHN) a further 0.06sec adrift for bronze.
The challenge is now clear: can Soni become the first woman in history to take the breaststroke triple? On past performance and on today's show of technical excellence, the American of Hungarian descent is certainly favourite to win both 100m and 200m crowns, events in which she holds the world records.
Europe's best, Yulia Efimova (RUS) missed the podium by 0.09sec as the last women inside 30sec.
History in the making:
World s/c Podiums
Most world titles in this event: 1, multiple
Records (TB = best ever in a textile suit)
Most world records in this event (since specific 25m records began in 1991):
All-time textile rankings top 5:
From the archive:
On March 14, 2002, Emma Igelstrom (SWE) broke the 30sec barrier in the 50m breaststroke when she won the world short-course title in Moscow. Her 29.96sec effort marked the 10th new global mark in the 50m sprint since Luo Xuejuan (CHN) clocked 30.56 on December 3, 2001. Over the four months that followed before Igelstrom settled the argument, the record went to Luo (twice) and teammate Wei Li (once), Britain’s Zoe Baker (thrice) and Igelstrom (four times).