Aaron Peirsol won the men’s 200m backstroke world title in a world record of 1min 51.92sec here on Friday. Peirsol smashed the previous record of 1:53.08 that he set at the US championships in Indianapolis on July 11.
Japan’s Ryosuke Irie was second in 1:52.51, and 2007 world champion Ryan Lochte of the United States was third in 1:53.82.
Although Peirsol came into the race as the world record-holder, Irie had actually notched the fastest time ever swum with a 1:52.86 in Canberra this year. It wasn’t ratified as a record because he wore an unapproved suit.
Peirsol simply skipped over the entire 1:52s en route to reclaiming the world title he lost to Lochte in Melbourne in 2007.
The US veteran had also lost to gold medallist Lochte in the 200m backstroke at the Beijing Olympics, and his 2009 worlds got off to a dismal start when an inexplicable mistake saw him fail to qualify for the 100m backstroke final.
Alshammar breaks butterfly record
Two more world records have fallen at the world swimming championships, the mark for the women’s 50-meter butterfly going down in consecutive semifinal heats.
Marleen Veldhuis of the Netherlands won the first semi in 25.28 seconds, eclipsing her own mark of 25.33 set in April. She got to keep the record less than 5 minutes — Sweden’s Therese Alshammar won the next semi in 25.07.