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BARCELONA, Spain, August 1. SHE might have missed Fu Yuanhui’s textile best, but China’s Zhao Jing likely didn’t care much as she reclaimed the world title in the women’s 50-meter backstroke tonight at the FINA World Championships.
The world-record holder with a 27.06 from the 2009 FINA World Championships the last time she won the event, Zhao checked in with a 27.29 tonight for the sprint backstroke victory. That’s the fifth-fastest time ever, and just off Fu’s textile best of 27.22 from Chinese Nationals earlier this year. It’s definitely her best time in textile, which had been her 27.81 from earlier this week. That’s Zhao’s fourth career gold medal at Worlds. She won the 50 back and 400 medley relay in 2009, the 100 back with a silver in the 400 medley in 2011, and now the 50 back this time around.
Zhao’s compatriot Fu chased down silver with a time of 27.39 to make China the first country with a 1-2 in the event since its inception in 2001. China did post a 1-3 in 2009 with Zhao winning and Gao Chang taking bronze that year.
Japan’s Aya Terakawa placed a distant third with a 27.53 for her second straight medal after finishing runner-up to Anastasia Zueva in 2011. That’s Terakawa’s third career Worlds medal, having already won bronze in the 100 back earlier this week as well.
Brazil’s Etiene Medeiros (27.83), Spain’s Mercedes Peris Minguet (27.93), Great Britain’s Georgia Davies (27.96), USA’s Rachel Bootsma (28.05) and Great Britain’s Lauren Quigley (28.33) collected the rest of the championship finishes.