INDIANAPOLIS, October 8. WITH the USA’s Natalie Coughlin, the world record-holder, sidelined with a stress fracture in her left foot, the women’s 100-meter backstroke was up for grabs. But when all the splashing was through, it was Coughlin’s former University of California teammate, Haley Cope, who got her hand on the wall first.
Aussie Sophie Edington turned first at the 50 in 28.74 as only six-tenths of a second separated the top six swimmers. But Cope moved into the lead on the third lap and powered home firmly in command.
Cope’s 59.03 easily out-distanced China’s Gao Chang, who came from sixth place at the 50 to take silver in 59.61, just three-hundredths ahead of Eddington. The USA’s Margaret Hoelzer was fourth.