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SHANGHAI, China, July 30. IN one of the more stunning upsets of the meet, The Netherlands' Inge Dekker pipped Sweden's Therese Alshammar at the wall to win the women's 50 fly at the FINA World Long Course Championships.
Alshammar had been in control of the event all year, throwing down epic times throughout the season and earlier this week in qualifying. Dekker, however, had different plans and captured a touchout triumph, 25.71 to 25.76. The win by Dekker gave The Netherlands its third world title in the event since it began being offered at the 2001 World Championships. Inge de Bruijn won the 2001 and 2003 versions.
"Anything is possible in a 50 final," Dekker said. "I didn't think too much, I just swam and went as fast as I could, the same as in the semifinal. When I saw I won, it was cool. In the past, I have had a problem swimming in the final."
Alshammar, meanwhile, settled for silver – her third career medal in the event. She took bronze in 2005, and won the title in 2007. Heading into tonight, all the talk had been surrounding whether Alshammar could take down her world record of 25.07 from the 2009 World Championships. Now, she'll head back to the drawing board.
France's Melanie Henique captured bronze in 25.86 for her country's first world championship medal in the event.
"I can't believe that I won the bronze medal." Henique said. "It's a beautiful night. I am so grateful to my coach and my family."
China's Lu Ying (25.87), Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom (25.87), Japan's Yuka Kato (26.02), USA's Dana Vollmer (26.06) and Australia's Marieke Guehrer (26.21) rounded out the championship heat. Guehrer had an off year this year after winning the world title in 2009.