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Zueva Zaps 59sec Mark On 100 Back

Apr 22, 2012  - Craig Lord

On the last day of Russian nationals in Moscow, Anastasia Zueva became the second woman to crack 59sec in a textile suit with a 58.97 victory in the 100m backstroke

Only China's Zhao Jing has ever swum faster, her 58.94 set in Guangzhou in 2010. Two years on and Zhao struggled to get anywhere close to that form at China nationals.

Zueva, second to Florida-based Gemma Spofforth at world championships when the Brit set a world record of 58.08 as the only other title winner at the meet not to go beyond the 50% LZR poly suit of 2008 in favour of the full 100% rubber suits of 2009, leapt ahead of Japan's Aya Terakawa, on 59.10 this month, at the helm of the 2012 world rankings.

Zueva's effort is a lifetime best, setting aside the assisted effort of 58.18 in Rome. In Moscow today, no others made the London 2012 Olympic cut.

The all-time top 5 in textile:

  • 58.94 Zhao 2010
  • 58.97 Zueva 2012
  • 59.10 Terakawa 2012
  • 59.12 Natalie Coughlin (USA) 2011
  • 59.18 Melissa Franklin (USA) 2011

Coughlin claimed the Olympic title in 2004 and 2008 and beyond success at US trials would join the short list of those who could join the triple crown club in London this summer. Only Dawn Fraser (AUS) and Krisztina Egerszegi (HUN) have ever won the same title at three Games in swimming.

In the men's 100 freestyle, Danila Izotov, 48.27, and Nikita Lobintsev, 48.39, finished top two, while Andrey Grechin (48.44, after 48.29 in semis), Vladimir Morozov (48.79), Sergey Fesikov (48.99) and Evgeny Lagunov (49.02) look set for 4x100m relay action in London.

Former European champion Anastasia Chaun pipped Yuliya Efimova 2:24.13 to 2:24.45 in the 200m breaststroke, while the first man ever to crack the minute over 100m breaststroke, back in 2001, Roman Sludnov booked return to Olympic action for a 4th time with a 1:00.60 victory over Anton Lobanov, 1:01.25, and Vyatcheslav Sinkevitch, 1:01.32, both outside the FINA A standard.

Long gone the swimming days of President of the Russian fed Vladimir Salnikov, the first man to crack 15mins over 1500m but the man was at hand to watch Evgeniy Kulikov take the 30-lapper in 15:16.19, outside London 2012 cut.

In other action, Alexander Tikhonov took the 200m medley title in 2:00.70, outside cut, while the non-Olympic dash finals went to Anton Butymov in 25.45 on backstroke and Darya Tsvetkova in 26.39 on butterfly.