DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, December 16. NATALIE Coughlin earned her first gold medal of the meet with a meet record of 56.08. The time eclipses the former championship record of set by Kirsty Coventry in 2008. It also breaks Coughlin's American record of 56.71, which she set back in 2002.
Coughlin was challenged by the Chinese duo of Zhao Jing and short course world record holder Gao Chang. Zhao got the silver medal with a 56.18, while Gao touched third for bronze with a 56.21.
Melissa Franklin (56.92), Rachel Goh (57.35), Anastasia Zueva (57.67), Mercedes Peris Minguet (57.87) and Aleksandra Gerasmenya (58.48) rounded out the final.