MANCHESTER, England, April 12. SANJA Jovanovic from Croatia blasted the meet record in the 50 backstroke in the event's semifinal heats at the FINA World Short Course Championships.
Jovanovic touched the wall in 26.71, bettering the former World Championships record of 27.00 set by Janine Pietsch of Germany in 2006. Jovanovic fell short of her world-record standard of 26.50.
Chang Gao from China finished behind Jovanovic, touching the wall second in 27.06. Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe, who demolished the world record in the 200 backstroke last night, turned in the third-fastest time (27.13).
Kateryna Zubkova from Ukrane placed fourth in 27.24 while Belinda Hocking from Australia touched fifth in 27.45.
Anna Gostomelsky of Israel (27.50), Jennifer Carroll from Canada (27.53) and Elizabeth Simmonds of Great Britain (27.55) rounded out the top eight qualifiers for tomorrow night's final.