Alshammar breaks her own world record

Alshammar breaks her own world record
Swedish swimmer Therese Alshammar set a new world record at the World Cup meet in Stockholm on Wednesday, while another one of her previous world records fell.

Alshammar’s new world record time of 24.46sec came in the women’s shortcourse 50m butterfly. She had herself set the old mark of 24.75sec on October 17 in Durban.

“It’s really fun, I never thought I’d managed to set a world record. But there’s a special feeling when it’s the last event and there’s a home crowd here,” she told the TT news agency.

Alshammar also saw Chinese swimmer Zhao Jing best the Swedish swimmers world record time women’s shortcourse 100m medley. Jing’s record time 58.40sec shaved 0.11 seconds off of Alshammar old mark of 58.51sec set on October 17 in Durban.

In other events, US superstar Michael Phelps, shunning a high-tech swimsuit, came within an ace of pocketing the 200 metres individual medley on Wednesday.

South African Darian Townsend hogged the glory in the end, taking the title in 1:51.79 but Phelps came in second in 1:53.93 to leave Lithuanian Vytautas Janusaitis with bronze in 1:54.34.

Most swimmers in Stockholm are still wearing the performance-enhancing gear, but a few, Phelps included, have gone back to basic trunks in anticipation of the FINA ban on high-tech swimsuits which will take effect at the start of next year.

“I knew yesterday and today that this wasn’t gonna be the best meet, but every now and then we need a wakeup call,” said Phelps.

After missing out on the 100m butterfly final, Phelps came through the 200m medley heats stylishly but admitted that “there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Backed by Swedish fans who acclaimed him as if one of their own, Phelps did push Townsend hard as he went from third after the butterfly section to second following the two backstroke lengths and after a hard-fought breaststroke section the South African just clinched it with a push in the final freestyle length.

In reaching the final of the 200m individual medley Phelps posted the second fastest time of 1 minute 56.09 seconds, behind only the 1:55.09 of Sweden’s Simon Sjödin, who was wearing a high-tech bodysuit.

Gold medalist Peter Marshall broke his own 50 metres backstroke short course world record, timing 22.73sec to edge his own mark of 22.75sec and fellow American Jessica Hardy bettered her own world record for the women’s 50m breast-stroke in swimming 28.96sec in the heat.

She went on to take the title in 29.29 ahead of Aussie Leisel Jones.

Away from the renewed flood of records the men’s 1500m freestyle title went to Italian Federico Colbertaldo, Canada’s Brent Hayden edged Townsend for the 200m freestyle, and South Africa’s Cameron van den Burgh won the 100m breaststroke in 56.17sec ahead of compatriot Neil Versfeld.

Britain’s Francesca Halsall set a new European mark of 51.61sec in winning the 100m freestyle.

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