Rome 2009, Day 2:
Women's 100m breaststroke semi-finals:
The next act in the circus was a 1:04.84 world record for Rebecca Soni (USA) in the second semi-final of the 100m breaststroke. That wiped out the third of six world records that had remained from the pre-shiny suit era, the 1:05.09 standard of Leisel Jones (AUS) from 2006.
Soni split 30.74 and 33.81 to claim lane 4 in the final ahead of Yulia Efimova (RUS) on 1:05.84 and Sarah Katsoulis (AUS) on 1:06.23.
Back in the Dark Ages at In Melbourne 2007, only Tara Kirk (USA) swam inside 1:07 to make the final. Seven women did so in Rome.
Men's 100m backstroke semi-finals:
Junya Koga (JPN) set a championship record (surprise, surprise) in the first semi of the 100m backstroke, his 52.39 leading the way into a final that will go without Olympic champion and world record holder Aaron Peirsol (USA), 9th in 53.22. Helge Meeuw (GER) Hydrofoiled to lane 5 of the final in 52.49, ahead of Ryosuke Irie (JPN), on 52.73, and Aschwin Wildeboer (ESP) on 52.76, Matt Grevers (USA), on 52.82. Liam Tancock (GBR) was last through in 53.12.
"That was a huge miscalculation," Peirsol said. "I thought I was in a much better place in that race than I was." Peirsol finished fourth in his heat, won by Wildeboer. "I thought I was right next to Ashwin, I didn't know I was half a second behind," said Peirsol. "It was very strange to see that time. Usually I'm not that bad [at judging pace]."
Meanwhile, in the Dark Ages, the 53.51 in which Ryan Lochte qualified for Lane 4 of the Melbourne 2007 final would not have made the top 16.