MANCHESTER, England, April 11. UNDER world-record pace at the 50-meter mark, Jessica Hardy of the U.S. shut it down the final 50 and will look for a second breaststroke world record during the 100 breast finals at the FINA World Short Course Championships.
Hardy took the race out in 30.29, but came home in 34.34 to settle for a meet-record time of 1:04.63. That performance cleared compatriot Tara Kirk's time of 1:05.25 set in 2006, and nearly caught Kirk's American record of 1:04.30 from March.
South Africa's Suzaan van Biljon placed second in 1:05.36 to nip Penny Heyns' national record of 1:05.40 from way back in 1999, while Australia's Sarah Katsoulis (1:05.52) and Jade Edmistone (1:05.72) qualified third and fourth.
Russia's Yuliya Efimova took fifth in 1:05.74, while Austria's Mirna Jukic finished sixth in 1:05.95 to erase her national record of 1:06.33 set in 2007. Great Britain's Kate Haywood tied Jukic with a time of 1:05.95 to also beat Kirsty Balfour's national record of 1:06.51 from 2006.
China's Sun Ye claimed the final transfer spot into finals with a 1:06.48.