High-tech swim suits aid swimmers in record-breaking feats at Worlds

China's Zhang Lin competes in a Men's 800m Freestyle heat, at World Swimming Championships in Rome, Tuesday. AP Photo

Monday evening's session saw five world -- as well as several championship -- records falling.

Australian Brenton Rickard won the gold medal in the men's 100m breaststroke in world record time, while Swedish teenage sensation Sarah Sjostrom broke her own world record in the 100m butterfly final.

Ariana Kukors from America won the women's 200m individual medley in world record time, becoming the first women to break the 2:07 mark.

American Rebecca Soni managed to break the women's 100m breaststroke record in the semi-finals, while Russian Anastasia Zueva managed the same feat in the women's 100m backstroke semi-finals.
Kukors, who only swam the event because a teammate scratched at the US trials, said that it was impossible to say just how much the new suits contributed towards the records, but they made a difference.

"Each swimmer is different, but the suits certainly improve the times," the 20-year-old said.
Rickard swam 58.58 seconds to win the men's 100m breaststroke, beating the previous best mark held by Japan's Kosuke Kitajima. The silver medal went to France's Hugues Duboscq in a time of 58.64, while Cameron Van der Burgh of South Africa took the bronze, 37 seconds behind Rickard.
American Eric Shanteau, who swam a championship record in the semi-finals, finished fourth. He said that he was disappointed with his finish.
"Having set a championship record in the semi-finals, I was hoping to get a medal in the finals, but the other guys did well, so I can't complain."
Ukrainian Igor Borysik, whose time of 58.67 from earlier this year has not yet been ratified, placed fifth.

In the women's 100m butterfly, Sjostrom swam her second world record in as many days as she won gold in a time of 56.06, beating her own record by .38 seconds.
Jessicah Schipper came second behind Sjostrom in a time of 56.23, while China's Jiao Liuyang won the bronze medal in a time of 56.86.

In the men's 100m backstroke, world record holder Aaron Peirsol was sensationally knocked out in the semi-finals when he managed no better than the ninth-fastest time, while Japan's Junya Koga swam a championship record in 52.39.
Germany's Helge Meeuw and Koga's compatriot Ryosuke Irie followed into the final.
Spain's Aschwin Wildeboer, who swam a championship record in the heats in the morning session, had the fourth-fastest time.
Soni, who swam a championship record in the heats in the women's 100m breaststroke went one better in the semi-finals, when she managed to break Leisel Jones' world record.
Jones' time was 1:05.09, which Soni bettered by .25 seconds, thereby becoming the first swimmer to manage to get under the 1:05 mark in a time of 1:04.84.
She was followed into the finals by Russian Yuliya Efimova and Australian Sarah Katsoulis.
American-born Serbian Milorad Cavic won an unlikely gold medal for the Balkan country as he won the men's 50m butterfly in a time of 22.67, which set a new championship record, beating Rafael Munoz's time of 22.68.
Australian Matthew Targett won the silver medal in a time of 22.73, while the bronze went to Munoz, who was .21 seconds off the pace.
Zueva led the way into the final of the women's 100m backstroke with the world record time of 58.48 in the semi-finals, beating the time set by Briton's Gemma Spofforth in the heats in the morning session.
Monday's final gold medal went to Kukors, who smashed the world record she established on Sunday in the women's 200m individual medley.
Kukors' time of 2:06.15 was nearly a second faster than the 2:07.03 she swam in the semi-finals.
The silver medal went to Australian Stephanie Rice in a time of 2:07.03, while Hungary's Katinka Hosszu won the bronze medal in 2:07.46.
--DPA
abr/jg

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