By John Lohn
Photos by Peter H. Bick
MONTREAL, Canada, July 31. SHE’S a specialist in the event and proved it on the big stage. Blasting a world-record time of 30.45, Australia’s Jade Edmistone took top honors in the women’s 50-meter breaststroke on Sunday night. Edmistone got off the blocks quickly and held off a charging Jessica Hardy. Edmistone lowered the former world record of 30.57, set by New Zealand’s Zoe Baker in 2002, then competing for Great Britain.
Edmistone entered the final as the top seed, but was expected to be challenged by Hardy, the rising star on the United States breaststroke scene. Indeed, Hardy pushed the Aussie, but fell just short with a time of 30.85. Still, that swim established an American record and complemented the world record she set in the semifinals of the 100 breast.
Aussie Brooke Hanson, the Olympic silver medalist in the 100 distance, picked up the bronze medal with a PR swim of 30.89. She was followed to the wall by American Tara Kirk, who checked in with a clocking of 31.38. Kirk earlier won the bronze medal in the 100 breast. Baker, swimming in Lane 1, was fifth with a time of 31.43.
The sixth through eighth positions were occupied by Great Britain’s Kate Haywood (31.49), China’s Luo Xuejuan (31.50) and Germany’s Janne Schaeffer (32.45). Luo was the defending champion, but has been plagued by the effects of an ankle injury.