Dubai, world s/c championships, day 2 finals:
Women's 100m Backstroke
Natalie Coughlin (USA), a missed last season of shiny suits behind her, is back on top by a margin of tightness that had all wondering until the scoreboard screamed the truth: in a championship record of 56.08, the Olympic champion kept Chinese challengers at bay for gold, silver to Zhao Jing in 56.18, bronze to Gao Chang in 56.21. Coughlin's time is the best ever in a textile suit, inside her own previous best of 56.51 from 2007. The key to the American's victory: those turns, her underwater skill surely the envy of the women's ranks.
History in the making:
World s/c Podiums
Most world titles in this event: 2
Records (TB = best ever in a textile suit)
Most world records in this event (since specific 25m records began in 1991): 3
All-time textile rankings top 5:
From the archive:
Their achievements made at a time of war, Dutchwomen Cornelia Kint and Iet van Feggelen are among the most successful swimmers who never had their successes recognised in many a swimming history tome. They set nine backstroke world records between them in 1938 and 1939, respectively taking gold and silver medals over 100m at the 1938 European championships.