FINA World Championships, Swimming: Therese Alshammar Races to Victory in 50 Free

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SHANGHAI, China, July 31. SWEDEN's Therese Alshammar threw down a significant time in the women's 50 free to grab the splash-and-dash title at the FINA World Long Course Championships.

After two straight silver medals in 2007 and 2009, Alshammar finally ascended the sprint mountaintop with a 24.14 for the victory in the sprint free event. That effort just missed Inge de Bruijn's epic textile best of 24.13 from 2000.

"I can't believe that I won," Alshammar said. "I couldn't be happier right now. I'm enjoying this meet more than ever."

The Netherlands' Ranomi Kromowidjojo settled for silver with a 24.27, coming up short of being her country's first world titlist in the event since de Bruijn went back-to-back in 2001 and 2003. The Netherlands went 2-3 in the event with Marleen Veldhuis snatching bronze with a 24.49. The two medals gave The Netherlands its sixth and seventh medals in the event's history. Veldhuis now has a total of three bronzes to go with a silver.

"That's my best time, so I am satisfied," Kromowidjojo said. "I will go home with gold, silver and bronze medals. I can do better, and there is room to improve. But, I'm going to go on vacation now, and will definitely enjoy it."

Great Britain's Fran Halsall (24.60), Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia (24.65), Denmark's Jeanette Ottesen (24.67) and Bahamas' Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace (24.79) finished fourth through seventh, while the mere 18-minute window between winning the 50 breast and competing in the 50 free was too much for Jessica Hardy, who wound up eighth with a 24.87.