Dubai, world s/c championships, day 5 finals:
Women's 50m backstroke
Zhao Jing (CHN) took gold in a storming 26.27 championship record ahead of Rachel Goh (AUS), on 26.54, with bronze going to Mercedes Peris (ESP), on 26.80.
History in the making:
World s/c Podiums
Most world titles in this event: never retained
Records (TB = best ever in a textile suit)
Most world records in this event (since specific 25m records began in 1991): 4
All-time textile rankings top 5:
From the archive:
The story of world record holder Sanja Jovanovic is a moving one, a tale of war, refugees, parents' divorce and a mother's serious illness. "I grew up in exile 12 years," Jovanovic told reporter Dean Bauer of the Sportske novosti in Zagreb, Croatia, earlier this year. "We were expelled during the war from our home in Mokošica [a village near Dubrovnik, near the Croatian border and Montenegro]. We lived very poorly. Without money, with a mother who had to to deal with us four girls at home, and unemployment. Despite it all, she still followed and supported my sporting life. Really, it was very hard." Asked how much that played a part in motivation, she replied: "I always say that if it had not been for our misfortune then I may not have achieved my four world records. The troubled environment in which we grew up prompted me to work even harder, put in more effort, make more sacrifice and reject nothing on the grounds that it was difficult. That gave me the motivation to seize the day. At that time, a lot of colleagues who began with me luckily didn't face poverty. Maybe they then lacked a little of the tenacity that I had and still have. Today I am grateful to God for everything. Today I am a happy, young, athlete." In a state of poverty, Sanja's mother encouraged her to put her energies into swimming. "Mum 'pushed' me a little, from time to time. When I didn't want to go on training, she gave me 2 kunas (cca 0.25 cents) and said 'come on, go swimming and buy donuts". We had no money for new swimming suits. I had the old one a very long time. And when it broke, you know what children are like ... it was embarrassing and I suffered a lot of teasing, understandably."