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IRVINE, California, August 19. AUSTRALIA's Leisel Jones gave USA's Rebecca Soni a run for her money during the first 50 meters, but Soni powered through the final 50 meters en route to a convincing win in the women's 100 breast at the Pan Pacific Championships.
Soni posted a scorching time of 1:04.93 to tie herself for the third-fastest time ever in the event. Only Jessica Hardy (1:04.45) and Soni herself (1:04.84) have had faster times than this evening's swim. Soni far surpassed her previously top-ranked time of 1:05.73 from the U.S. Nationals, and crushed her Pan Pacific meet record of 1:05.89. Soni gave the U.S. its third straight win in the event as Amanda Beard (2002) and Tara Kirk (2006) won the two previous titles with a 1:08.22 and 1:07.56, respectively.
Jones, meanwhile, took second in 1:05.66 to remain in second in the world this year, and close to with half-a-second of her personal best of 1:05.09 that ranks her third in the event's history. Teammate Sarah Katsoulis grabbed third with a time of 1:07.04 in a touch-out over Japan's Satomi Suzuki (1:07.05).
Beard, showing some remarkable longevity considering she just gave birth a year ago, took fifth in 1:07.49, while Canada's Annamay Pierse placed sixth in 1:07.90. Japan's Mina Matsushima (1:08.32) and Canada's Jillian Tyler (1:08.45) earned seventh and eighth.
Australia's Samantha Marshall won the B final title in 1:07.04 to move into seventh in the world rankings heading into the A final.
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