Sjostrom wins 100 butterfly in record time

Sjostrom wins 100 butterfly in record time

Australian Rickard erases world mark to clinch the mens 100 breaststroke

Sjostrom wins 100 butterfly in record time

Sweden’s Sarah Sjostrom celebrates her gold in the 100M butterfly.  AfP

The 15-year-old surged home in 56.06 seconds, ahead of second-placed Jessicah Schipper of Australia and bronze medallist Jiao Liuyang of China.

Sjostrom destroyed the world record in Monday's heats to set a new mark of 56.44 but easily surpassed that on a warm Rome evening. "I don't know what is happening right now. It's unbelievable," she told reporters. "This is my best year but I have many years in front of me. I can do better."

In the men’s section, Australia's Brenton Rickard lived up to his billing as favourite by smashing the world record to win the men's 100 metres breaststroke.

Rickard sped through Rome's open air pool in 58.58 seconds, beating Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima's previous best of 58.91. With Kitajima and 2007 world champion Brendan Hansen not competing, Rickard took his chance having won bronze two years ago.

"It's nice to have a shiny gold one around my neck after all those silvers and bronzes," he told reporters.

France's Hugues Duboscq was second in 58.64 having also bettered Kitajima's previous world record while Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa won bronze.

Kukors pips Rice

In another record-breaking show, American Ariana Kukors edged out Olympic champion Stephanie Rice to win gold in the women's 200 metres individual medley.

Kukors erased her world record from Sunday, swimming two minutes 06.15 with Rice second and Katinka Hosszu of Hungary taking bronze.

In the men’s 50-metre butterfly, Serbia's Milorad Cavic upset Spanish favourite Rafael Munoz to win gold. Cavic charged to victory with a championship record time of 22.67 seconds.

Matt Targett of Australia took the silver medal while Spanish world record holder Munoz, who himself a set a new championship mark in to qualify top in the semis, could do no better than third.

The Serb takes world crown from South African defending champion Roland Schoeman, who did not make it past the semifinals.

America's Eric Shanteau, who competed at the Beijing Olympics despite being diagnosed with testicular cancer, was fourth having beaten the disease.

Two more records fell by the way side in the semifinals when Rebecca Soni surged to a world record in the 100 metres women's breaststroke, the American swimming in one minute 4.84 to beat Australian Leisel Jones's previous record of 1:05.09.

Anastasia Zueva broke the world record in the women's 100 metres backstroke semifinals with the Russian clocking 58.48 seconds to beat Zimbabwean Kirsty Coventry's previous best of 58.77. Gemma Spofforth of Britain finished (58.74) second.

Peirsol out

Meanwhile, world and Olympic champion Aaron Peirsol failed to qualify for the 100 metres backstroke final after finishing ninth overall in Monday's semifinals.

The American was fourth in the second semifinal to miss out, while Japan's Junya Koga set a championship record of 52.39 seconds to qualify first for Tuesday's final.
After the morning heats, world record holder Peirsol said another record would be needed to win the final. The three-time world champion will now not have the chance to find out after always looking off the pace in his semifinal.

Men: 100M breaststroke:  Brenton Rickard (Aus) 58.58secs (WR) 1; Hugues Duboscq (Fra) 58.64, 2; Cameron van der Burgh (SA) 58.95, 3.

50M butterfly: Milorad Cavic (Ser) 22.67 secs, 1; Matthew Targett (Aus) 22.73, 2; Rafael Munoz (Esp) 22.88, 3.

Women: 100M butterfly: Sarah Sjostrom (Swe) 56.06 secs (WR) 1; Jessicah Schipper (Aus)  56.23, 2; Jiao Liuyang (Chi) 56.86, 3.

200M individual medley: Ariana Kukors (US) 2:06.15 secs (WR) 1; Stephanie Rice (Aus) 2:07.03, 2; Katinka Hosszu (Hun) 2:07.46, 3.

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