ROME, Italy, July 27. RUSSIA's Anastasia Zueva put together a commanding time of 58.48 in the first women's 100 back semifinal round to earn the world record at the FINA World Championships.
The swim demolished the world record of 58.77 set by Zimbabwe's Kirsty Coventry at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The time also moved Zueva into the 58 club, as her previous best had been a 59.01 from prelims. Incidentally, Zueva also beat Gemma Spofforth's meet record of 58.78 set in prelims.
Spofforth qualified second in 58.74 from the second semi, while Australia's Emily Seebohm finished third in 59.15.
Coventry will have to wait for finals to attempt to reclaim her world record after qualifying fourth in 59.21. Japan's Shiho Sakai (59.25), China's Zhao Jing (59.39), Great Britain's Elizabeth Simmonds (59.55) and Hayley McGregory of the U.S. (59.55) also will vie for the world title.