Soni Scorches 2:20.00 World Mark
Aug 1, 2012
Olympic Games, London, Day 5 semi-finals
Women's 200 Breaststroke
Swimming in the second heat of semi-finals in the 200 breaststroke, defending Olympic champion Rebecca Soni of the US wowed the crowd with a world record of 2:20.00 - 0.22 seconds faster than her shiny suit winning time in Beijing in 2008 - and shaving 0.12 off Canadian Annamay Pierse's 2009 high-tech suit world mark from Rome.
Pierse was at the pool working for CTV and tweeted: A world record is just someone's best time, it happened to be mine... So proud if my friend @rebsoni for getting a new BEST TIME! xoxo
Placed second going into the final is Rikke Pedersen of Denmark in 2:22.23. Satomi Suzuki of Japan secured third in 2:22.40. Canada's Martha McCabe placed 7th in 2:24.09 to make it into the final - and Sally Foster of Australia sealed the line-up in 2:24.46.
"I felt there was no pressure," Soni said. "I just wanted to feel it and see how it went. I just went for it. Anything can happen tomorrow so I'll save my best for that. I'm really excited - I just have to do it one more time."
Soni's was the the second world record today after Hungarian Daniel Gyurta's 2:07.28 win in the 200m breaststroke. That makes five world marks in five days - the way it used to be when world records meant something truly special.
The book is still full of booster bodysuit times and some will remain for a while yet but erosion has started in earnest. Don't expect a flood - look for the sparkle in the steady stream.