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Efimova And Zueva: Four WRs At Russian Trials

Apr 28, 2009  - Craig Lord

Yulyia Efimova, who turned 17 this month, cracked the 50m breaststroke world record with a 30.23 in semis in Moscow at world championship trials for Rome 2009 before shattering the mark 45 minutes later with a 30.05 victory in the final. The global standard had stood to Jade Edminstone (AUS) at 30.31 since pre-Feb 2008.

The other two word records of the day fell to 

Anastasia Zueva in a sizzling 27.48 in heats and 27.47 in the final, 0.20sec inside the world record that had been shared by Zhao Jing (CHN) and Sophie Edington (AUS).

That's 15 world records so far this year, and not yet May. Just what you'd expect in post-Olympic year. Since February 2008, 123 world records.

Efimova also broke the European record in 100m breaststroke in 1:05.80 late on Monday and is only the second woman after Leisel Jones (AUS) to have cracked 1:06.

All the record swims saw the protagonist wear an Arena R-Evolution+. The Russian federation is signed up to Arena, so there will be no Jaked swims, while Dr Andrei Vorontsov, head coach to Russia, is vehemently opposed to the fast suits war and the use of fabrics that skew results and enhance performance. He is among those who has called on FINA to stop the rote, and is among those who has scientific evidence of his own to say that the 2008 onwards generation of suits are indeed enhancing performance and do indeed work differently for different swimmers on different strokes and over different distances. In other words, an uncontrollable mess.

Efimova's best of 31.00sec placed her 19th on the all-time list, while Zueva's previous best was 28.05, already in the top 10 last year.

The new all-time top 10, which knocks double Olympic champion of 1996, Penny Heyns (RSA), on 30.83, out of the top 10:

  • 30.02 Efimova RUS
  • 30.31 Edminstone AUS
  • 30.45 White AUS
  • 30.55 Jones AUS
  • 30.57 Baker GBR
  • 30.63 Hardy USA
  • 30.64 Luo CHN
  • 30.65 Katsoulis AUS
  • 30.79 Artemyeva RUS
  • 30.80 Nijhuis NED

The 30.63 clocked by Jessica Hardy (USA), suspended for a doping offense last year, to win the 2007 world title, is now 6th among performers and 17th best among performances.

"It's a big, big surprise for me," said Efimova, of Grozny. "But to break it twice in a day is just unbelievable." She earned a $15,000 bonus for her efforts. "Still, I value my European 100 metres record more than the one I set today," added Efimova, who at the age of 15 won three gold medals in the 50, 100 and 200 metres breaststroke at the 2007 European short course championships in Debrecen, Hungary. "I regard the 50 more as a training event for the 100 and 200." 

The new all-time top 10, with the world record of February 1, 2008, now at No10:

  • 27.47 Zueva RUS
  • 27.67 Zhao CHN
  • 27.67 Edington AUS
  • 27.76 Gao CHN
  • 27.78 Terakawa JPN
  • 27.80 McGregory USA
  • 27.95 Seebohm AUS
  • 27.97 Sakai JPN
  • 28.05 Jovanovic CRO
  • 28.09 Yang CHN

Of the fastest 25 women ever in the 50m backstroke, 20 have best times from 2008-09. The 28.16 then world record in which Leila Vaziri (USA) won the world title in 2007 is now 26th best performance ever, while Vaziri is 14th fastest swimmer all-time.

I hear talk of smart training, perfect storms, better coaching, wonder diets. Some say folk live on Jupiter too.