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W50Back: Golden End To Zueva's Silver Run

Jul 28, 2011  - Craig Lord

Day 5 finals, Oriental Sports Center, Shanghai

Women's 50m backstroke

Anastasia Zueva got herself and Russia on the gold-medal board with a 27.79sec victory that ended a run of silver linings (100m and 200m in Rome, 100m in Shanghai). The silver this time went to another, Aya Terakawa (JPN), in 27.93, with bronze to Melissa Franklin (USA), in 28.01.

"I did not expect to get the gold medal in the 50, because it is not an Olympic event so I did not concentrate on it," Zueva said. "But my coach had great belief that I could win. I felt really tired in the last (few) metres, but I really wanted to win."

The result:

  • 1 Anastasia Zueva (RUS) 27.79
  • 2 Aya Terakawa (JPN) 27.93
  • 3 Melissa Franklin (USA) 28.01
  • 4 Chang Gao (CHN) 28.06
  • 5 Emily Seebohm (AUS) 28.07
  • 6 Julia Wilkinson (CAN) 28.09
  • 7 Aliaksandra Herasimenia (BLR) 28.09
  • 8 Mercedes Peris  (ESP) 28.42

History in the making:


  • WR (all suits): 27.06 Zhao Jing (CHN) Rome July 30, 2009
  • WR (textile):   27.45 Gao Chang (CHN) Guangzhou 2010
  • First woman inside 28: Emily Seebohm (AUS) 27.95 Sydney 2010

World-class stats

  • World Record wins: Vaziri; Zhao
  • Title never retained
  • Biggest margin: Vaziri beat Gao Chang (CHN) by 0.30sec in 2007
  • Closest shave: 0.02sec separated champion Haley Cope (USA) and Antje Buschschulte (GER) in 2001 and champion Nina Zhivanevskaya (ESP) and Ilona Hlavackova (CZE) in 2003

From the archive:

Gao Chang, of China, is hoping that a home world championship will make it fourth time lucky. Silver medallist in 2005 and 2007 behind Giaan Rooney (AUS) and Leila Vaziri (USA) respectively, Gao claimed bronze in Rome 2009. The main obstacle to her ambition may be team-mate and reigning champion Zhao Jing: between them they own the best 16 times ever set by Chinese swimmers, eight each.

In Melbourne 2007, the crown went to Leila Vaziri (USA) in 28.18, while 28.67 concluded the entertainment in the final. Skip forward to Rome 2009 and the comparable range was a world record of 27.06 for Zhao Jing (CHN) to an 8th-place 27.88, the 2007 winning time equivalent to 14th in the semi-finals in 2009.