Istanbul, World Short-Course Championships, Day 5 finals:
Women's 200m breaststroke
Rikke Pedersen (DEN) set a championship record and world textile best of 2:16.08 for victory over American Laura Sogar, on 2:16.93, that marking a big improvement this year and the third fastest in a textile suit ever. The bronze went to Kanako Watanabe (JPN) in 2:19.39.
At the half-way, Sogar had a slight edge, of 0.17sec but Pedersen drove off the wall into the third 50m with clear intent to take back control from the less experienced American. By the 150m turn, the Dane led in 1:40.38 (Sogar on 1:41.19), just 0.38sec away from the world record pace of absent American No 1 and Olympic champion Rebecca Soni. The shiny suits of 2009 then told once more, Soni's 2:14.57 from the Duel in the Pool in Manchester 2009 remaining on the books and safe from harm for a while yet.
The magnitude of Pedersen's swim went unmentioned by official event commentators unable to note textile times because many would prefer not to mention the suits, banned as they have been for three years now. Yet, the truth is, Pedersen is the fastest we have ever seen in an unassisted swim, Soni's best in textile a 2:16.39 from Dubai 2010.
"It's awesome, It's everything to me," said Pedersen. "It's my first gold at a world championships, I'm a world champion. I swam faster than the textile record. My goal was to improve my European championships record and I did. Just to be brave and aggressive and to think that I could be the first. I told myself to risk it all. To trust myself and all the work I've done."
Dubai 2010 compared:
History in the making:
World s/c Podiums
Most world titles in this event: 2- Qi Hui (CHN) 2002, 2006
All-time textile rankings top 5: