ROME, Italy, July 31. WHILE compatriot Sarah Sjostrom initially took Therese Alshammar's meet record away in the women's 50 fly, Alshammar returned in a later heat to reclaim the mark at the FINA World Championships.
In heat 10, Sjostrom clocked a swift 25.74 to erase Alshammar's 25.82 set in 2007. Sjostrom wound up qualifying fourth overall. Alshammar, meanwhile, hit the wall in 25.44 in the 13th of 14 heats to reclaim the record, and top qualifying. The performance is the second best of all time behind Marleen Veldhuis' world record of 25.33, and just clipped Alshammar's national record of 25.46 set in 2007.
Veldhuis stopped the clock in 25.58 in the final heat to qualify second, while Norway's Ingvild Snildal posted a third-seeded 25.62 to smash her national record of 26.24 set two weeks ago.
Australia's Marieke Guehrer (25.83), Italy's Silvia Di Pietro (25.84), Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen (25.86) and China's Zhou Yafei (26.00) made up the top eight. Di Pietro dipped under 26 seconds for the first time to lower her national record of 26.10 set in May, while Ottesen lowered her national mark of 26.00 from April. Zhou took down her Chinese standard of 26.04 from April as well.
Christine Magnuson of the U.S. (26.06), Brazil's Gabriella Silva (26.07), Brazil's Daynara De Paula (26.11), The Netherlands' Hinkelien Schreuder (26.21), Belarus' Svetlana Khokhlova (26.21), Estonia's Triin Aljand (26.27), France's Diane Bui Duyet (26.35) and Germany's Daniela Samulski (26.36) completed the semifinal field.
Silva beat her Brazilian record of 26.18 from May, while Aljand crushed her national record of 26.72 from two weeks ago.
Surprisingly, Dara Torres of the U.S. and Libby Trickett of Australia both finished just outside of the semifinal heats with matching 26.41s for 17th overall.