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Soni Sets Up Triple Test With Golden Dash

Dec 16, 2010  - Craig Lord

Dubai, world s/c championships, day 2 finals:

Women's 50m breaststroke

Rebecca Soni (USA) has maintained a line that she is on a learning curve in short-course swimming here and cannot quite get going in time for a 50m race. Nonetheless she delivered a lesson to sprint specialists with a 29.83 victory in the dash, 0.01sec ahead of Commonwealth champion Leiston Pickett (AUS), with Zhao Jin (CHN) a further 0.06sec adrift for bronze.

The challenge is now clear: can Soni become the first woman in history to take the breaststroke triple? On past performance and on today's show of technical excellence, the American of Hungarian descent is certainly favourite to win both 100m and 200m crowns, events in which she holds the world records.

Europe's best, Yulia Efimova (RUS) missed the podium by 0.09sec as the last women inside 30sec.

The result

  • Soni 29.83
  • Pickett 29.84
  • Zhao 29.90 
  • Efimova 29.99
  • Dorothea Brandt (GER) 30.19
  • Alia Atkinson (JAM) 30.22
  • Wang Randi (CH) 30.26
  • Sarah Katsoulis (AUS) 30.34

More later.

History in the making:

World s/c Podiums

  • 2010: 29.83; 29.84; 29.90
  • 2008: 29.58; 30.35; 30.35 (joint silver)
  • 2006: 30.22; 30.40; 30.48

Most world titles in this event:  1, multiple

Records (TB = best ever in a textile suit)

  • WR: 28.80 Jessica Hardy (USA) 15.11.09
  • TB: 29.83 Rebecca Soni  (USA) 16.12.10

Most world records in this event (since specific 25m records began in 1991): 

  • Jessica Hardy (USA) 2008-09

All-time textile rankings top 5:

  • 29.83 Soni Dubai 2010
  • 29.84 Pickett Dubai 2010
  • 29.90 Edminstone (now Richards) 2004
  • 29.90 Zhao Jin Dubai 2010
  • 29.96 Igelstrom 2002

From the archive: 

On March 14, 2002, Emma Igelstrom (SWE) broke the 30sec barrier in the 50m breaststroke when she won the world short-course title in Moscow. Her 29.96sec effort marked the 10th new global mark in the 50m sprint since Luo Xuejuan (CHN) clocked 30.56 on December 3, 2001. Over the four months that followed before Igelstrom settled the argument, the record went to Luo (twice) and teammate Wei Li (once), Britain’s Zoe Baker (thrice) and Igelstrom (four times).