ROME, Italy, July 30. CANADA's Annamay Pierse led qualifying in the women's 200 breast with another solid outing at the FINA World Championships.
Having already joined the 2:20 club at Canada's Trials this month, Pierse checked in with a 2:21.68 to earn the top seed heading into semis. Her time did, however, lower Leisel Jones' meet record of 2:21.72 set in 2005. World record holder Rebecca Soni of the U.S. coasted into the next round with a 2:22.09.
Austria's Mirna Jukic (2:22.10), Serbia's Nadia Higl (2:23.19), Japan's Nanaka Tamura (2:23.22), Japan's Rie Kaneto (2:23.50), Canada's Martha McCabe (2:23.50) and Keri Hehn of the U.S. (2:23.60) picked up top eight spots. Jukic lowered her national record of 2:22.46 set in April, while Higl did the same to her 2:23.34 from earlier this month.
Italy's Ilaria Scarcella (2:24.20), Denmark's Rikke Moller-Pedersen (2:24.46), Korea's Darae Jeong (2:25.00), Sweden's Joline Hostman (2:25.15), Germany's Carolina Ruhnau (2:25.57), Australia's Sally Foster (2:26.07), Russia's Yuliya Efimova (2:26.18) and France's Sophie De Ronchi (2:26.45) earned the rest of the transfer slots into semis. Moller-Pedersen crushed her national standard of 2:28.51 set in June.