FINA World Cup, Durban: Flash! Jessica Hardy, Peter Marshall, Therese Alshammar Lower World Records

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DURBAN, South Africa, October 17. SWEDEN's Therese Alshammar popped the cork on the world record run with a global mark in the 100 IM during prelims today at the FINA World Cup stop in Durban.

She returned with another world record to her credit in the 50 fly. Meanwhile, Americans Jessica Hardy and Peter Marshall knocked down world records in the 50 breast and 50 back, respectively.

Men's 1500 free
South Africa's Herman Heerden cleared 15:00 to win the distance event in 14:49.17. Compatriot Riaan Schoeman placed second in 15:00.70, while fellow South African Michael Meyer snared third in 15:05.08.

Women's 100 free
It doesn't matter much where the meet happens to be, The Netherlands female sprint group usually does just fine. Ranomi Kromowidjojo (52.49) and Inge Dekker (52.91) swept the top two podium position in the sprint free, while Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom claimed third in 53.30.

Men's 200 free
Out under world record pace at the 50 (23.78), South Africa's Darian Townsend nearly held on to beat countryman Ryk Neethling's South African record of 1:42.75. Townsend, however, settled for the gold medal and the cash prize for first with a 1:42.79.

Germany's Steffen Deibler claimed a silver medal in the event with a 1:43.17, just holding off bronze-winning Dominik Meichtry of Sweden. Meichtry checked in with a 1:43.78, missing his national record of 1:43.11.

Women's 50 breast
After coasting during prelims to make the finale, Jessica Hardy continued a resurgence in her career after a one-year suspension for unknowingly using clenbuterol in 2008. Hardy blitzed the field with a 29.45 to lower her world record of 29.58 set at the 2008 World Short Course Championships. The performance also smashed the World Cup record of 29.61 set by Valentina Artemyeva at the 2008 Moscow stop.

Germany claimed second and third with Kerstin Vogel placing second in 30.57 and Caroline Ruhnau finishing third in 31.01.

Men's 100 breast
South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh put together a World Cup record time in the event with a swift 56.60. While still short of his world record time of 55.99, he downed his circuit record of 56.88 set at the 2008 Moscow stop.

South Africa's Neil Versfeld placed second overall in 57.92, while Brazil's Eduardo Fischer touched third in 58.47, just shy of Henrique Barbosa's national record of 58.13.

Women's 400 IM
South Africa's Kathryn Meaklim used a brilliant breaststroke leg to put the field behind her en route to a winning time of 4:30.53. Without anyone pushing her the last two legs, Meaklim fell off her national record pace, so her record still stands at 4:27.21.

Compatriot Jessica Pengelly led after the backstroke leg, but lost more than two seconds to Meaklim in the breaststroke leg and finished second in 4:35.15. Fellow South African Bianca Meyer rounded out the podium with a third-place 4:39.09.

Men's 100 fly
Russia's Evgeny Korotyshkin overtook South Africa's Lyndon Ferns in the back half with a top time of 50.23. Ferns settled for second with a time of 50.44 that lowered his national record of 50.53 set earlier this year. Teammate Chad Le Clos picked up another podium finish this weekend with a bronze-winning 51.45.

Women's 100 back
It took a sub-minute time to make the podium as Brazil's Fabiola Molina scorched the pool with a 57.77. That performance lowered her national record of 58.67 set at the 2008 Stockholm stop of the circuit.

Whitney Myers of the U.S. wound up taking silver with a time of 58.82, while South Africa's Chanelle Van Wyk claimed third overall in 59.70. Van Wyk became the first South African under a minute, lowering the previous record of 1:00.16 set by Charlene Wittstock in 2001.

Men's 50 back
Peter Marshall of the United States kept the world record in the hands of an American, but took the sprint back global standard away from Randall Bal. Marshall blitzed the event with a swift time of 22.75, erasing Bal's 22.87 set at the 2008 Berlin stop of the circuit. The previous world record obviously stood as both the World Cup and American records as well.

Russia's Stanislav Donets finished a distant second with a time of 23.63, missing his national record of 23.22 set last December. Meanwhile, Australia's Ashley Delaney took third overall in 23.74, coming up short of the Aussie mark of 23.24 owned by Robert Hurley.

Women's 200 fly
Australia's Felicity Galvez went out under world record pace at the 50 with a 28.07 split, and had just enough in the tank to hold off South Africa's Amanda Loots, 2:05.55 to 2:05.88, at the wall. Loots' time lowered her national record of 2:06.60 set at the 2008 Berlin stop of the circuit.

South Africa's Kathryn Meaklim picked up more prize money with another podium, this time with a third-place time of 2:09.42.

Men's 200 IM
South Africa's Darian Townsend and Austria's Markus Rogan put on a show with Townsend coming out on the winning end of the 200 IM. Townsend clocked a 1:53.13 for the victory, while Rogan finished second in 1:53.69. Rogan's time wiped out the national record of 1:53.83 previously held by Dinko Jukic since last December.

Townsend went out under the world-record pace with a 24.19 at the 50-meter mark, while Rogan clipped the world-record pace at the 100-meter mark with a 51.97 split.

Notably, Chad Le Clos earned another paycheck with a third-place 1:57.03 for South Africa.

Women's 400 free
South Africa's Jessica Pengelly completed what has been a strong meet for the up-and-coming swimmer. She clocked a time of 4:11.62 to win the middle distance event, while teammate Kayla Ferreira placed second in 4:13.93. South African Bianca Hauzer wound up third overall in 4:16.36.

Men's 50 free
Sweden's Stefan Nystrand won the men's splash-and-dash with a swift time of 21.29. Meanwhile, home crowd favorite Roland Schoeman wound up taking second overall in 21.34, while Germany's Steffen Deibler placed third in 21.40.

Women's 200 breast
Serbia's Nadja Higl finished a day in which she completely rewrote her national record. Entering the meet, she owned the record with a 2:27.22 from February. Tonight, she dropped it down to 2:20.41 to close in on Yuliya Efimova's European record of 2:19.08.

Sweden's Joline Hostman claimed second in 2:22.71, while Germany's Caroline Ruhnau and South Africa's Kathryn Meaklim tied for third with matching 2:23.11s.

Women's 100 IM
With newly-minted world-record holder Therese Alshammar withdrawing to focus on other potential world records after setting the global mark this morning, the door was wide open for someone else to pick up the gold medal.

Jessica Hardy took that opportunity for another win with a swift time of 59.93. U.S. teammate Whitney Myers captured silver with a 1:00.07, while Brazil's Fabiola Molina took third in 1:00.66.

Men's 200 back
Out under world-record pace with a 1:20.53 at the 150-meter mark, South Africa's George Du Rand could not keep it up and settled for a winning time of 1:49.53. The performance smashed his African record of 1:51.82 set in Durban last year.

Russia's Arkady Vyatchanin finished second in 1:50.29, while Australia's Ashley Delaney took third in 1:53.27.

Women's 50 fly
The strategic drop of the 100 IM wound up being successful for Sweden's Therese Alshammar as she crushed the world record in the sprint fly with a smoking time of 24.75. That swim erased Marieke Guehrer's world and World Cup record of 24.99 set at the 2008 Berlin stop. Incidentally, Alshammar also lowered her national record of 25.13 and the European record of 25.21 previously held by Hinkelien Schreuder.

Guehrer took second overall with a 25.07, while Schreuder tied teammate Inge Dekker for third with matching 25.50s.

Full Results