Miley 'over moon' after final effort
Briton delighted despite missing out on the medals as more records are shattered
Tuesday 28 July 2009
Hannah Miley was sixth in the final of the 200 metres individual medley on an eventful evening for the British team at the World Championships in Rome. As well as Miley's efforts, Gemma Spofforth swam the second fastest 100m backstroke in history and Liam Tancock was at the centre of a major shock when he edged seven-time world champion Aaron Peirsol out of the final of the men's event.
Five more world records fell last night at the Foro Italico, making it 11 in total after only two days of racing.
Miley was third fastest into the final after lowering her personal best on Sunday to 2mins 09.46secs, only 0.09 off Camille Muffat's European record. Last night the Scottish swimmer was never really in the medal hunt, although she was third fastest on the breaststroke leg, and touched in 2:09.91.
Ariana Kukors lowered the world record for the second time in 24 hours meaning the American has taken 2.30 seconds off Stephanie Rice's mark since the competition got under way on Sunday. Rice was second with Katinka Hosszu of Hungary third and the double silver medallist Kirsty Coventry out of the medals in fourth.
Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom bettered the world record she set on Sunday to grab gold in the women's 100 metres butterfly final. 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 yesterday'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 said. "This is my best year but I have many years in front of me. I can do better."
Miley was more than happy with her efforts as she looks to her main event, the 400m individual medley.
She said: "I am just over the moon with that. It's my first final having done semi-final and heats in a senior international meet for the 200IM. It's great to be part of such a historic event – 2:06 (from Kukors), that was such a phenomenal swim. I am really pleased with the swim."
Miley turned her attention to the longer race, saying: "The 200IM is such a good practice event because it is speed and the 400IM is speed and endurance so I need to improve on my speed in order to build up the 400. It is a good marker."
Michael Phelps advanced to the final of his first individual event, but it looks as though he will have some tough competition in the 200m freestyle. Germany's Paul Biedermann, who already broke Ian Thorpe's iconic record in the 400 free, set a championship record with a time of 1:43.65 seconds in the semi-finals, not far off Phelps' world mark of 1:42.96. Phelps was the third-fastest qualifier at 1:45.23.
Milorad Cavic sprung a surprise to win the men's 50m butterfly world title. The Serbian swam a championship record of 22.67 seconds with Australia's Matt Targett second and favourite Rafael Munoz of Spain third.
Changing fashion: The go-faster suits
The Hydrofoil suit is 70g lighter than conventional lycra cat-suits. Made from thin woven fabric, it is laminated with a polyurethane foil that reduces water drag by 6 per cent and keeps muscles compressed. The suit weighs only 160g and it can take up to 15 minutes to put on before a race. Three world records were broken by swimmers wearing the suit within two days when the suit was released in June.
The LZR suit is different from the Hydrofoil suit as it has specially-placed polyurethane panels, as opposed to an all-over polyurethane layer. The suit is 50 per cent polyurethane and worn to ankle length. It made a massive impact last year when 79 swimmers broke world records while wearing the LZR suit.
The suit is made from 100 per cent polyurethane, and is "thermo welded", with no strings on the suit to reduce drag. The Jaked 01 compresses the swimmer's body to cut down on friction to allow easier kicks and turns. Wearing the suit in April, Frederick Bousquet shaved 0.34 seconds off the men's 50m freestyle world record in Montpellier, with a time of 20.94sec. Before donning the performance-enhancing suit he had never made it to a final.
The Arena X-Glide is also 100 per cent polyurethane and is coated with a thin layer of "biorubber" to increase buoyancy. It was worn by the German swimmer Paul Biedermann when he broke the men's 400m freestyle European record on Sunday.
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