FINA World Championships, Swimming: Flash! Mary DeScenza Demolishes Final 50 Meters, Sets World Record in 200 Fly Qualifying -- July 29, 2009

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ROME, Italy, July 29. IN the fourth heat of women's 200 fly qualifying, Mary DeScenza blasted the final 50 meters en route to a world record at the FINA World Championships.

DeScenza clocked a time of 2:04.14 to lower the world record of 2:04.18 set by China's Liu Zige at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. DeScenza came home with a blazing fast 31.65 in the final 50 to take the global mark.

Here are the comparative splits:
DeScenza: 28.79, 1:00.57 (31.78), 1:32.49 (31.92), 2:04.14 (31.65)
Liu: 27.80, 59.37 (31.57), 1:31.59 (32.22), 2:04.18 (32.59)

She also crushed the American record of 2:05.88 set by Misty Hyman back in 2000, and dropped the meet record of 2:05.61 set by Otylia Jedrzejczak in 2005.

Australia's Jessicah Schipper finished second in 2:05.50, while Hungary's Katinka Hosszu took third in 2:06.21. Hosszu lowered Emile Kovcas' national mark of 2:06.71 from March 2008.

Australia's Samantha Hamill (2:06.32), Germany's Annika Mehlhorn (2:06.45), France's Aurore Mongel (2:06.66), Canada's Audrey Lacroix (2:06.67) and China's Jiao Liuyang (2:07.01) claimed the top eight spots. Mehlhorn downed her national record of 2:06.97 set in 2001, while Lacroix dipped under her national standard of 2:06.83 from 2007.

Japan's Yui Miyamoto (2:07.13), Great Britain's Ellen Gandy (2:07.33), the United States' Kathleen Hersey (2:07.34), Liu (2:07.55), Italy's Caterina Giacchetti (2:07.84), Denmark's Micha Jensen (2:08.54), France's Magali Rousseau (2:08.57) and Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos (2:08.63) completed the semifinal field.

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July 29, 2009 I can just feel all the energy that these individuals(kukors, descenza) have not been able to release on the world stage for the past couple of years!
Submitted by: xxgeffxx
July 29, 2009 What style suit was she wearing - about the same drop from her prior best as Biederman.
Submitted by: OldTimerVA
July 29, 2009 Yeah, three seconds. On the one hand, yay Mary for being the 3rd best US swimmer in like ever event for years and finally make the Worlds Team and doing well.

On the other hand, this is a circus and I can't wait for a return to normalcy.
Submitted by: Sphere
July 29, 2009 Another farcical record...surprise, surprise.
Submitted by: Sarah83
July 29, 2009 DeScenza ditched TYR suits and used a Jaked 01 as the German did :-).
Submitted by: doc
July 29, 2009 Descenza used a Jaked 01 suit for this swim.
Submitted by: doc
July 29, 2009 FYI Mary was on the 2003, 2005 and 2007 LC worlds teams for the US, and also the 2006 and 2008 SC worlds's only been the Olympics that have eluded her on the "world stage".
Submitted by: FatDrew
July 29, 2009 Oh oops. Good point. I guess she's never medaled at Worlds right? Pretty sure she'll get one here. Terrible mistake on my part right there. Sorry!
Submitted by: Sphere
July 29, 2009 Good for her. Good for her. Good for her.

Awesome competitive year for her - Grand Prix title recently proved as much - consistently showing up and SHOWING the world her stuff for quite some time now.

Happy for her.

Demoralizing meet however for the pure SPORT of swimming. By FINA'S CHOOSING and "defense" being the suit makers need to make money (?????? until as far out as perhaps May of next year) since the American women were utterly robbed of medals - time and time again - at the 1976 Olympics.

Time to put back on REAL racing suits and get down to the sport of racing - for racing's sake. No drugs. No "technology". Just race.
About time.

Submitted by: Lorraine
July 29, 2009 Everyone should make sure not to forget that the swimmers are not the ones to blame here. If Mary drops an earth-shattering 3s because of the suit, we can't blame her for it.

The sport is a mess, FINA could have quelled this in 2000 when Thorpedo debuted the full body suit. These records as far as I'm concerned mean absolutely nothing, it's a farce, no-name swimmers have appered and are wiping out the records of what was our elita class of swimmers.

Also, I really wish Swimming World would tone down the excitement about the records. Please stop posting "FLASH! New WR" every time one is broken. You're only feeding the hype. Swimming World usually has had a good objective opinion about the sport (re: Drugs, China, etc.) and I would expect nothing less from the staff at this time either.
Submitted by: fl_coach
July 29, 2009 Let's all keep in mind that the swimmers are not the ones at fault. They are just going out and doing what they do best. FINA could have prevented this by outlawing outrageous suits after Thorpedo wore the full body in 2000. The sport is a mess, we have no-name swimmers breaking WRs of what WAS our elite class of swimmer. But focus the blame where it needs to be placed - FINA, USA Swimming, the manufacturers, the national governing bodies.

Also, I've always regarded Swimming World as an objective group (re: Drugs, China, etc.) however please STOP posting "FALSH! New WR..." for your articles. You're feeding the nonsense. Be objective, this championship is a farce, everyone knows it, and I would expect a news outlet like Swimming World to tone down the enthusiasm. This is a fake world championship meet and the records should be treated as such. It will be 10 maybe 20 years until REAL swimming catches up to the technology-induced 2009 Worlds.
Submitted by: fl_coach
July 29, 2009 They will have to PERMANENTLY put astericks by the records and move on. That will do more than anything to put back honor to the record board - and allow for swimmers IN THIS DAY to continue training as hard as they have been - for very real honorable goals - and move past this. The record board will reflect and denote for eternity who wore what and when.

And in a year from now when we have REAL suits back in the water this will all be - astericks a recognized reality across the board unfortunately - a thing of the past.
Submitted by: Lorraine
July 29, 2009 fl_coach,

Flash!-Tagging on this site has nothing to do with hyping the subject of an article. It is just a way to make it as simple as possible for our readers to see that a world record went down in a particular article. It implies nothing else other than that there is a new world record recapped within that story.

As for objectivity, we are one of the very few places reporting on swimming that has a policy of separating commentary and event recaps. We report the objective base information first, then add commentary from our various writers separately second.

This policy allows for us not to be seen as attacking individual swimmers or coaches within a specific recap article. However, we are more than willing to take on a tough subject with heavy opinion in a separate piece that is labeled as such as a column or editorial.

Thanks for the interest in the site, fl_coach.
Submitted by: Jason Marsteller
July 29, 2009 Jason, keep posting the opinion pieces. Swimming World needs to continue to stand up for the sport.
Submitted by: fl_coach
July 29, 2009 I'm...happy*...for Mary.
Submitted by: Swimmer Bill
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