Phelps on track as more records tumble in Romehttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/phelps-on-track-as-more-records-tumble-in-rome/

Phelps on track as more records tumble in Rome

Michael Phelps managed to avoid the embarrassing fate of team mate Aaron Peirsol and advanced to the final of his first individual event at the world swimming championships on Monday...

Michael Phelps managed to avoid the embarrassing fate of team mate Aaron Peirsol and advanced to the final of his first individual event at the world swimming championships on Monday,but he is likely to face a stiff challenge in the 200m freestyle.

Germany’s Paul Biedermann,who already broke Ian Thorpe’s iconic record in the 400 free and led Phelps in the morning heats,set a championship record with a time of 1 minute,43.65 seconds in the semi-finals on Monday,not far off Phelps’ world mark of 1:42.96. Phelps was the third-fastest qualifier at 1:45.23.

Peirsol failed to qualify for the final of the 100m backstroke,managing only the ninth-best time in the semi-finals. Peirsol had won the event at the last two Olympics and was favourite here after setting another world record in the 100 earlier this month.

But his semi-final time of 53.22 was nearly a full second behind top qualifier Junya Koga of Japan at 52.39. Peirsol was a tenth of a second out of the eighth spot,which would have gotten him through to the final.

Five more records

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It was yet another day of records at the meet,with five more being set on Day Two to take the total to 11. Ariana Kukors of the US broke her own 24-hour-old record in the 200m individual medley.

Kukors beat Olympic champion Stephanie Rice of Australia with a time of 2 minutes,6.15 seconds on Monday,nearly a full second ahead of her record showing in the semi-finals,2:07.03.

Russia’s Anastasia Zueva broke the record for the 100m backstroke in the semi-final heat. Zueva posted a time of 58.48 seconds,eclipsing the 58.77 by Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe at the Beijing Olympics.

Also setting records on Day 2 of the meet were Brenton Rickard of Australia in the 100 breaststroke,Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden in the 100 butterfly and Rebecca Soni of the US in the 100 back. Soni also broke her own record in a semi-final heat.

Olympic silver medallist Matt Grevers barely qualified for the semi-finals in the 100 back in 16th position after his TYR swimsuit split apart just before he jumped in the pool. “I didn’t completely freak out but definitely was conscious of it,” Grevers said,showing a two-inch rip by his lower back. “Luckily I made it in.”

Nay returns home

Australia’s Meagen Nay was returning home following the death of her brother in a car crash. Twenty-eight-year-old Amos Nay died on Saturday. The news was relayed to Meagen before the preliminaries of the 400m relay on Sunday,and she did not compete in the relay final. She will not take part in her other events later this week: the 200 freestyle,200 backstroke and 800 freestyle relay.