July 27, 2009

More swim records fall in Rome

Records continued to fall Monday at the 2009 FINA World Swim Championships in Rome with five swimmers turning in unprecedented times.

Not among them, though, was American Aaron Peirsol, who failed to qualify for the 100-meter backstroke final. Peirsol has won the past two Olympic gold medals in the event but finished ninth overall in the semifinals in 53.22, well off the world record time off 51.94 he set July 8. He missed the finals by 0.1 second.

The record-setting performances came the day after six world records fell at the championships.

Swede Sarah Sjostrom swam the 100-meter butterfly in 56.06, breaking the world mark she set Sunday in the semifinals. Likewise, American Ariana Kukors won the 200-meter individual medley final in 2:06.13, surpassing the record for the second day in a row.

Also setting world marks were Australian Brenton Rickard in the men's 100-meter breaststroke final (58.58 seconds), American Rebecca Soni in the women's 100-meter breaststroke semis (1:04.84) and Russian Anastasia Zueva in the women's 100-meter backstroke semis (58.48).

American Michael Phelps qualified for the 200-meter freestyle final by finishing third in the semis in 1:45.23. Phelps set the world record in the event when he posted a 1:42.96 in Beijing last year.

Serbian Milorad Cavic captured the first-ever gold medal for his country with a championship record time of 22.67 seconds.