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SHANGHAI, China, July 28. IN an extremely close battle, China's Jiao Liuyang edged Great Britain's Ellen Gandy for the women's 200 fly at the FINA World Long Course Championships.
Jiao clocked a time of 2:05.55, while Gandy touched just .04 seconds behind with a 2:05.59. Jiao joins Liu Limin as only the second Chinese world titlist in the event, as Liu won in the doping-marred 1994 World Championships.
"I did not feel any pressure about this meet, as I just came home from the World Military Games and am a little exhausted," Jiao said. "I just tried to do my best tonight. I think Liu Zige had much more pressure than me as she is the world record holder. I knew my sprint in the last 100 meters was better than the other swimmers tonight."
Gandy, meanwhile, became the first swimmer from her country to medal in the women's 200 fly since it was first contested at the 1973 World Championships in Belgrade.
Defending silver medalist, and world-record and textile best holder, Liu Zige took third overall with a 2:05.90. Liu holds the world record with a 2:01.81, while also owning the top time in textile with a 2:04.04 from April of this year.
"I've already been in poor shape in the 100-meter fly," Liu said. "My coach and I are making adjustments, but there are still some problems with my 200-meter race. I will go back and discuss my problems with my coach before the 2012 London Olympics."
Japan's Natsumi Hoshi (2:05.91), Australia's Stephanie Rice (2:06.08), Hungary's Zsuzsanna Jakabos (2:06.35), Great Britain's Jemma Lowe (2:06.64) and Australia's Jessicah Schipper (2:06.64) also competed in the finale. Schipper was the two-time defending world champion in the event after wins in 2007 and 2009, but could not muster up a third consecutive world title this time around.