ROME, Italy, July 26. AUSTRALIA's Brenton Rickard put the world record on notice in the men's 100 breast during prelims at the FINA World Championships. Rickard blazed the morning heats with a 58.98 to break Brendan Hansen's meet record of 59.37 set in 2005. Rickard also lowered his national standard of 59.65 set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Rickard became just the third member of the 58 club. Kosuke Kitajima owns the ratified world record with a 58.91 from Beijing, while Ukraine's Igor Borysik clocked a 58.67 last month at a meet in his home country. However, the time will likely not stand as a world record since the meet did not have him drug tested at the time.
France's Hugues Duboscq clocked a sterling time of 59.01 to down his national record of 59.37 set at the Olympics. Eric Shanteau of the U.S. nearly cleared Mark Gangloff's American record of 59.01 with a 59.05 in qualifying.
Lithuania's Giedrius Titenis notched a 59.24 to lower his national record of 59.94 set in July, while Borysik qualified with a 59.34. Brazil's Henrique Barbosa (59.49), Germany's Hendrik Feldwehr (59.52) and Australia's Christian Sprenger (59.52) picked up the rest of the top eight transfer spots.
South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh set the meet record in the 50 breast with his split of 27.41 en route to a national-record time of 59.54. His split beat Oleg Lisogor's time of 27.46 set in 2003, while he cleared his 59.96 set at the Olympics.
Gangloff qualified 10th with a 59.67, while Great Britain's James Gibson set a national record with a 59.68. His performance beat the 59.88 set by Christopher Cook in April 2008. Japan's Ryo Tateishi (59.69), Slovenia's Damir Dugonjic (59.89), Japan's Yuta Suenaga (59.95), Norway's Alexander Dale Oen (1:00.05) and Germany's Johannes Neumann (1:00.05) comprised the rest of the semifinal field. Dugonjic beat his national standard of 1:00.35 set at the Olympics.