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Short Course World Champs, Day One: Cope, Hoelzer Lead the Women's 100 Backstroke Semifinals -- October 7, 2004

INDIANAPOLIS, October 7. IN the absence of the injured Natalie Coughlin, the women’s 100-meter backstroke has become a free-for-all. Any one of the eight finalists can take it all, but it was Coughlin’s Cal teammate, Haley Cope, who recorded the fastest time in the semis.

Cope led all the way to touch in 59.81 seconds. The only other sub-minute swimmer was Cope’s US teammate, Margaret Hoelzer, who clocked 59.95.

Still, the other six finalists are within striking distance, with Australia’s Sophie Eddington and Tayliah Zimmer, and Canada’s Erin Gammel the most likely challengers.

--P. Whitten