Poll in pole position

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The Independent Online
Poll in pole position

Claudia Poll, who broke a world record on Friday, headed for her second gold medal of the world short-course swimming championships in Rio de Janeiro yesterday when she led qualifiers for the final of the women's 400 metres freestyle. The Costa Rican, winner of Friday's 200 metres freestyle in a world short-course record one minute 55.42 seconds, clocked 4:09.26 in the last 400 metres freestyle heat, more than two seconds faster than her closest challenger, Joanne Malar of Canada. Malar clocked 4:11.54, one-hundredth of a second quicker than Sarah Hardcastle of Britain. Hardcastle, 26, clinched her first world title in Friday's 800m freestyle having returned to the sport in 1992 after a six-year retirement. Hardcastle admitted: "I'm stiff after yesterday, but that's to be expected, as it was a hard race. Also, I'm tired as I didn't sleep very well." She was expecting another tough final last night. "It's going to be hard. The 400m is more of a sprint," she added. In the women's 100 metres butterfly, Liu Limin, of China, broke the world short-course record with a time of 58.68 seconds. Angela Kennedy, of Australia, set the previous best of 58.77 at Gelsenkirchen, Germany, in February.

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