Penny Heyns of South Africa set the first 50m breaststroke world record with a time of 30.95 on the start leg of a 100m breaststroke race at the Goodwill Games in New York.
In order to set this first-ever world record she had to beat the previous world best time of 31.58 which was set in 1988 by Silke Horner of the GDR.
FINA Technical Committee changed its rules earlier this year to allow world records in the 50m events. Times set before the rule change are regarded as "World Best" and these are the times to beat in order to set a world record.
The world record is pending until ratified by FINA.