ROME, Italy, July 27. THE United States' Rebecca Soni charted another 1:05 to lead qualifying in the women's 100 breast preliminary heats at the FINA World Championships.
Soni, who set the American record with a 1:05.34 earlier this month at the U.S. World Championships Trials, cruised in prelims to a meet-record time of 1:05.66. The performance broke Leisel Jones' 1:05.72 set in 2007, and stands as the seventh-fastest effort of all time.
Russia's Yuliya Efimova, one of four members of the 1:05 club, qualified second in 1:06.42, while Austria's Mirna Jukic checked in with a third-seeded 1:06.58. That effort cleared Jukic's Austrian record of 1:07.00 set in April.
Denmark's Rikke Moller-Pedersen (1:06.61), Canada's Annamay Pierse (1:06.68), Australia's Tarnee White (1:06.91), Australia's Sarah Katsoulis (1:06.98) and Italy's Ilaria Scarcella (1:07.23) finished fourth through eighth. Moller-Pedersen crushed her national record of 1:08.51 set in April.
Germany's Caroline Ruhnau (1:07.25), United States' Kasey Carlson (1:07.29), Germany's Sarah Poewe (1:07.32), Italy's Chiara Boggiatto (1:07.42), Japan's Nanaka Tamura (1:07.46), China's Chen Huijia (1:07.51), Serbia's Nadja Higl (1:07.80) and Sweden's Joline Hostman (1:07.80) also made semis. Higl tied her national record set earlier this month.