ROME, Italy, July 30. KOSUKE Kitajima lost his world record, like so many other swimmers this meet, as Australia's Christian Sprenger downed the mark in the men's 200 breast semifinals at the FINA World Championships.
In the first semifinal, Sprenger used a tremendous final 15 meters to push to a world record time of 2:07.31. The performance wiped out Kitajima's global mark of 2:07.51 set at the 2008 Japan Open.
Here are the comparative splits:
Sprenger: 28.91, 1:01.51 (32.60), 1:34.49 (32.98), 2:07.31 (32.82)
Kitajima: 28.91, 1:01.27 (32.36), 1:34.24 (32.97), 2:07.51 (33.27)
In the second semifinal, Eric Shanteau broke 2:08 with an American record time of 2:07.42 after doubling in the 200 IM earlier in the evening. His time earned him the second seed, and crushed his American record of 2:08.01 set earlier this month.
"My first thought is I really wish that Christian hadn't set the world record in the heat before, because that would have been a world record," Shanteau said. "I couldn't really push it the first 100. Doing a double like that, I've done that before and knew I had to work the back half."
Also in the first semifinal, Brenton Rickard joined the 2:07 club with a 2:07.89 after being under world record pace through 180 meters of the race. That swim is the fifth best of all time behind Kitajima's 2:07.51 and 2:07.64 and Shanteau.
Hungary's Daniel Gyurta (2:08.08), Lithuania's Giedrius Titenis (2:08.35), Italy's Loris Facci (2:08.50), Brazil's Henrique Barbosa (2:08.56) and Italy's Edoardo Giorgetti (2:08.63) also made the finale.