ROME, Italy, August 1. AUSTRALIA's Cate Campbell led a star-studded preliminary session with a meet record in the women's 50 free at the FINA World Championships.
Campbell clocked a swift 24.24 in the 17th of 18 heats to lower Inge de Bruijn's meet record of 24.45 set in 2001.
Sweden's Therese Alshammar turned in a 24.30 to challenge Campbell's time in the final heat, while Amanda Weir of the U.S. (24.36), The Netherlands' Marleen Veldhuis (24.41) and Germany's Britta Steffen (24.42) all qualified out of the final heat.
Great Britain's Fran Halsall (24.47), the United States' Dara Torres (24.67) and Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen (24.72) made up the top eight. Halsall lowered her national record of 24.53 set in March, while Ottesen cleared her national mark of 24.83 set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Australia's Libby Trickett (24.74), The Netherlands' Hinkelien Schreuder (24.78), Belarus' Aleksandra Gerasimenya (24.85), France's Malia Metella (25.01), Venezuela's Arlene Semeco (25.11), Canada's Victoria Poon (25.15), Finland's Hanna-Maria Seppala (25.17) and Belarus' Svetlana Khokhlova (25.19) also made the semifinal.