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Kromowidjojo Keeps Top Spot

Aug 1, 2012

Olympic Games, London, Day 5 Finals

Women's 100 Freestyle Semi-final

In heat 1 Aliaksandra Herasimiena was out first to the 50 in 28.01- but after the turn Australia's Melanie Schlanger took charge of the race. Already a relay gold medalist on Day 1 of these Games, she made good on the prelude bid to snag her first individual medal - winning the heat in 53.38.

Herasimenia held on to second in 53.78, and Jessica Hardy (USA) - the world record-holder in the 100 breaststroke who passed up her Olympic berth in 2008 after a testing positive for a banned substance - was a solid third in 53.86.

In heat 2 Dutch sprinter and fastest woman this season Ranomi Kromowidjojo rose to the challenge and never let up: she was out in a scintillating 25.75 and left the competition behind her to take top spot for the final in 53.05 - a new Olympic record.

Coming back over the second half behind her to touch in second was Missy Franklin (USA) in 53.59. Tang Yi of China touched in third in 53.60.

Tang clocked a lifetime best of 53.58 leading the China sprint relay off on day 1. Before this year, she had never swum inside 54sec, 54.08 in shiny suit in Rome 2009 her best. In heats of the relay, she clocked 53.88, just shy of her China nationals time of 53.71.

The final sees Kromowidjojo in first, followed by Schlanger and Franklin going into the final in third. Hardy sealed the final in 53.86.

Julia Wilkinson of Canada did not make it into the top 8, placing 13th in 54.25.

Defending Olympic champion Britta Steffen of Germany - swimming in lane 1 of heat 1 - was locked out of tomorrow's race after finished a disappointing 54.18.