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Moeller Pedersen Powers To 2:20 ER

Mar 29, 2013  - Craig Lord

Rikke Moeller Pedersen, of Denmark, today cracked the European records, shiny and textile, with a 2:20.53 victory over 200m breaststroke on the last day at the Danish Open in Brønshøj.

The standard had stood to surprise 2009 world champion Nadja Higl (SRB) at 2:21 but that listing on the start sheet at the Danish meet is incorrect: Yuliya Efimova (RUS) took bronze just ahead of Pedersen on 2:20.92 at the Olympics in London last year. LEN lists Efimova as record holder and we can therefore assume that she went through anti-doping after the London 2012 final.

If any doubt were to have remained about the continental standard it would be related to a persistent problem: if Efimova, as bronze medallist, had not gone through anti-doping at the Games after her bronze-medal winning swim, her time would be a European best but not a European record. Several problem cases have arisen in recent years on those grounds, including a few key swims at the Beijing 2008 Games.

Pedersen's performance in Brønshøj marks her first time inside the European long-course records set in any suit. The 24-year-old world short-course champion from Odense raced alone almost half a lap ahead of next best through splits of 32.49, 1:08.33, 1:43.98, and 2:20.53. Her best had been a 2:21.66, clocked for fourth at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

In textile suits, only the 2:19.59 world record of American Olympic champion Rebecca Soni and her semi of 2:20.00 at London 2012 are better than Moeller Pedersen's effort today. It took her 0.01sec inside the 2:20.54 at which Australian Leisel Jones had held the world mark from 2006 to the advent of shiny suits banned from January 1, 2010.

Pedersen's Progression:

  • 2013: 2:20.53 ER
  • 2012: 2:21.66
  • 2011: 2:24.80
  • 2010: 2:24.99
  • 2009: 2:23.34
  • 2007: 2:28.68

At 18, Pedersen was making her way from junior to senior waters on a best of 2:33.10.

In other action, Jeanette Ottesen, Svømmeklubben Kvik, Kastrup, clocked 25.21 to win the 50m free ahead of Mie Nielsen, Aalborg, on 25.48, Pernille Blume, Sigma Swim Birkerød, on 25.50, with 15-year-old Julie Levisen, Aalborg, taking down the Danish junior mark in 25.63.

The men's dash also saw a Danish junior record fall, 23.07 granting victory to 17-year-old Magnus Westermann, Herlev Svømning, ahead of a 23.17 for Daniel Steen Andersen, Horsens Svømmeklub.

Viktor B. Bromer, Aalborg, took the 100m butterfly in 53.94, 0.02sec ahead of Søren Dahl, Herlev Svømning; Christina Munkholm, Køge Svømmeklub, clocked 1:00.43 to pip 

Katrine Holm Sørensen, Esbjerg Svømmeklub and on 1:00.86, in the women's equivalent; Eyglo Osk Gustafsdottir, 17-year-old racing for Ægir in Iceland, took the 200m backstroke in 2:11.43; and teenager Erik Persson clocked 2:14.55 to take the 200m breaststroke for Kungsbacka Simsällskap.