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SHANGHAI, China, July 28. RUSSIA's Anastasia Zueva sprinted to victory in the women's 50 back at the FINA World Long Course Championships.
Zueva clocked a time of 27.79 for her first world title. She has medaled before with silvers in the 100 back this year and 2009, and in the 200 back in 2009. She became just the second Russian female to win a world title behind Yuilya Efimova's 50 breast victory in 2009.
"I did not expect to get the gold medal in the 50, because it is not an Olympic event," Zueva said. "I never concentrated on [the 50], but my coach believed I could win it. I felt really tired the last few meters of the race, but I really wanted to win."
Japan's Aya Terakawa picked up silver with a 27.93 for her first world championship medal, while USA's Missy Franklin took bronze with a 28.01 for her first individual world hardware as well.
"I wanted to get the medal in the 100 back, but I failed," Terakawa said. "I felt a bit regretful about it, but this changed my mind. In the semifinal, I didn't swim very well. But, today the Japanese team cheered me up, and I just reacted to the cheering. I feel quite relieved."
China's Gao Chang (28.06), Australia's Emily Seebohm (28.07), Canada's Julia Wilkinson (28.09), Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia (28.09) and Spain's Mercedes Peris Minguet (28.42) also vied for the world title in the sprint backstroke event.