INDIANAPOLIS, IN, October 10. HAYLEY Cope was the lead qualifier this morning but really turned on the jets in the semifinal as she dropped over a second to :27.14, only 0.31 outside the world record. Her lead on the field is 0.65 seconds.
Cope has previously won the world championship in this event long course and won the 100 short course crown this week. She certainly minimizes the absence of her training partner Natalie Coughlin for the USA team as well as can be done, shooting tomorrow night for her second gold of this meet and third FINA gold of her career. Another third of a second would give her a world record to boot.
Tayliah Zimmer (AUS; :27.79) and Gao Chang (CHN; :27.85) qualified in the other medal positions.
The entire field was much faster in the semifinals than in the preliminary round, as 5 athletes surpassed Cope’s leading swim from the morning. It took :28.81 (Carla Stampfli of Switzerland) to make the top eight.