By John Lohn
Photos by Peter H. Bick
MONTREAL, Canada, July 28. THOSE one-lap sprints are darn tough to figure. Through two rounds of qualifying, China’s Gao Chang was superior to her competition, leading the way after the preliminaries and semifinals. In the championship heat, however, Gao was unable to secure the gold medal she seemed destined to earn.
Firing out of Lane 5, Australia’s Giaan Rooney registered a mark of 28.63 and turned back Gao, who stopped the clock in 28.69. Gao had a semifinal time of 28.31, which easily would have taken the world title. For Rooney this was her second World Championships title having won gold in the 200 freestyle back in 2001. Germany’s experienced Antje Buschschulte, who earlier in the meet took silver in the 100 back, claimed the bronze in the sprint with a swim of 28.72.
Japan’s Mai Nakamura was the fourth-place finisher in 28.86 and Australia’s Sophie Edington earned fifth with a performance of 28.87. The final was completed by Germany’s Janine Pietsch (28.88), New Zealand’s Hannah McLean (28.90) and Korea’s Nam-Eun Lee (29.35). Pietsch set the world record in the event earlier this year at 28.19.