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FINA World Championships, Swimming: Rebecca Soni Out Too Fast, Fades Off Podium; Nadja Higl Drops Hammer in Final 50 for 200 Breast World Title -- July 31, 2009

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ROME, Italy, July 31. REBECCA Soni of the United States took the women's 200 breast final out way too fast and suffered the consequences as she fell out of medal contention the final 25 meters. Serbia's Nadja Higl enjoyed the opportunity as she raced by Soni to win the world title at the FINA World Championships.


While Higl deserves top billing after a gold-medal time of 2:21.62, but Soni was the story of the race.

Soni went out incredibly fast and split the race 31.41, 1:05.73, 1:42.20, 2:22.15. She died in the final 25 metes as three swimmers swam right by.

"Sometimes, it's just not there," Soni said. "The first 100 felt really good, and I just started to cramp up and didn't have enough. Sometimes, it just doesn't work out."

World record holder Annamay Pierse could not reproduce her global standard of 2:20.12, and settled for silver with a 2:21.84, while Austria's Mirna Jukic took bronze in 2:21.97.

Soni (2:22.15), Japan's Rie Kaneto (2:23.03), Japan's Nanaka Tamura (2:23.12), Canada's Martha McCabe (2:23.36) and Sweden's Joline Hostman (2:23.62) comprised the rest of the championship heat.


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Reaction Time Comments
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July 31, 2009 That was a pretty epic die. The whole last 50 was so crazy. It was almost impossible to tell who was where. Good for Annamay.
Submitted by: JesseM
July 31, 2009 One word: OUCH!
Submitted by: liquidassets
July 31, 2009 Higl should have been disqualified in the semifinal. She was swimming in lane 5 next to Sonni and after diving she did 2 dolphin kicks.

It is a shame it went unnoticed. Maybe she did the same thing in the final but she was in lane 2, so underwater camera was not focused on her.
Submitted by: bigfish_sk
July 31, 2009 Wow, too bad nobody noticed. This was the first time ever that I had never even heard of a world or Olympic champion. She was 33rd in Beijing. Between Peirsol thinking he was going faster, and Soni not realizing she was going too fast, I wonder if these suits alter one's sense of pace. Anyway, between the suits and Jones not being there, there is a big asterisk on Higl's win anyway.
Submitted by: liquidassets
July 31, 2009 I know what you mean bigfish. But Higi isn't the only person I've ever seen do dolphin kicks immediately after hitting the water in breaststroke. Watch the underwater camera view of most international level meets and you can clearly see a bunch of the swimmers sneaking in a couple dolphin kicks before their pulldowns. My guess is that if would be very difficult for an on-deck official to catch and DQ a swimmer because of all the splashing in the beginning of a race.
Submitted by: mmart24
July 31, 2009 That was a BASE jump that went wrong!
Submitted by: fluidg
Reaction Time responses do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions
of Swimming World Magazine or SwimmingWorldMagazine.com.

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