World Short Course Champs, Day 5: Cope Wins 50 Back For Second Title

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, October 11. HALEY Cope swims backstroke. She swims backstroke very well. She wins national titles in the 50 free. She’s very good. She’s VERY good. But sometimes it’s hard to see how good she is in light of the reflected glory of college teammate Natalie Coughlin.

It’s high time to recognize Haley strictly for her own style and accomplishments. How many swimmers have three individual world titles?

Cope won her third career FINA individual gold tonight in the 50 backstroke at :27.49, after setting a Championship Record in the semifinal at :27.14. The semifinal was the fourth fastest swim all-time and only 0.06 outside Natalie’s American record. She previously won the 100 backstroke this week and the long course 50 backstroke in Fukuoka in 2001. Haley, great job!

It wasn’t a walkover for Cope, though, as Gao Chang (CHN) was even with her throughout touching at :27.55. Haley won this championship by simply demonstrating a bit more skill on the stretch to the wall.

Australians Sophie Edington and Tayliah Zimmer continued the consistent performance they have each made through every backstroke distance. Edington’s :28.17 earned bronze while Zimmer was fourth at :28.25.

— D. Scott

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