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FINA World Championships, Swimming: Stephanie Rice Paces Prelims of Women's 400 IM -- August 2, 2009

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ROME, Italy, August 2. WORLD record holder Stephanie Rice of Australia led the way in prelims of the women's 400 IM at the FINA World Championships.


In an exciting head-to-head battle with Elizabeth Beisel of the United States, Rice overtook Beisel in prelims out of the final heat, 4:34.62 to 4:34.80, to top qualifying for the finale this evening. Beisel's time earned her the second seed, setting up an epic battle between the two tonight.

Hungary's Katinka Hosszu (4:35.15), Canada's Tanya Hunks (4:35.84) and the United States' Julia Smit (4:35.84) turned in third through fifth-seeded times. Hunks smashed Joanne Malar's national record of 4:38.46 set back in 1999.

Great Britain's Hannah Miley (4:36.27), Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry (4:36.42) and Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos (4:37.47) also made finals.


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