Records tumble as gold rush begins

Sejwal improves National mark in 100 breaststroke

Records tumble as gold rush begins

pumped up: Paul Biedermann of Germany celebrates winning the 400M freestyle gold with a new world record on Sunday. AP

Two other individual world records fell in semifinal action in the women’s section as American Ariana Kukors accounted for the 200 individual medley mark and Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden smashed the 100 butterfly record.

Michael Phelps helped the American 4x100 freestyle relay squad to the men’s title while the Netherlands smashed the world record on their way to the corresponding women’s crown as four gold medals were decided on day one.

Biedermann ripped up Ian Thorpe's world record. Biedermann swam three minutes 40.07 to beat Australian Thorpe's 2002 mark by one hundredth of a second. Tunisia's Olympic 1,500M champion Oussama Mellouli was second, with China's Zhang Lin third.

Pellegrini, meanwhile, destroyed her own world record despite feeling ill. The Italian sped through Rome's open air pool in three minutes 59.15 with Britain's Joanne Jackson second and Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington, who only qualified eighth, finishing third.

"At a certain point, I lost hope. I went to bed and I thought I had fever," she said. "I didn't take my temperature. I went training and the cold water of the pool brought in down.”

Phelps helped Olympic champions the US retain their 100 freestyle relay title. The American team of Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Matt Grevers and Nathan Adrian finished in a time of three minutes, 9.21 seconds to come home ahead of Russia and France.

Phelps swam the first leg and although individual Olympic 100M champion Alain Bernard kept the French in the hunt in the second leg, they faded in the final 200 and had to settle for third.

Olympic champions the Netherlands smashed their own world record to take gold in the women's relay. The Dutch quartet of Frederike Heem-skerk, Magdalena Veldhuis, Inge Dekker, Ranomi Kromowidjojo triumphed in three minutes 31.72 seconds to take almost two seconds off their mark of 3:33.62 from last year.

They had to come from behind after Britta Steffen broke her own mark to set a new individual 100M world record of 52.22 and give Germany the lead in the first leg. Germany came in just 0.11 of a second behind and Australia took bronze.

Kukors shattered the women's 200M individual medley world record in the semifinals. Kukors blasted through the water in two minutes 07.03 to beat Stephanie Rice's Beijing Olympic mark of 2:08.45.

Sjostrom was also in smashing form in the women's 100 butterfly. The 15-year-old Swede, who set a championship record in the heats, swam 56.44 seconds to beat Inge de Bruijn's 2000 Sydney Olympics mark of 56.61.

Sejwal betters mark

Sandeep Sejwal clocked one minute 01.20 seconds to slice almost a full second off his own National record in the 100M breaststroke to finish overall 35th. Sejwal broke the current National time of 1:02.19. Jayaprakash Agnishwar ranked 83rd after timing 1:05.07 in the same event. 

Virdhawal Khade finished 57th in the 50 butterfly, clocking 24.32 seconds. Pooja R Alva ended 77th after clocking 1:05.13 in the women’s 100 butterfly while Vandita Dhariyal (1:05.80) was 81st in the same event. Mandar Divase finished a lowly 60th in four minutes 06.18 seconds in the 400M freestyle.

Agencies

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