Rome 2009, Day 6
Women's 200m backstroke heats
Olympic champion Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) cruised through to the semi-finals of the 200m backstroke in 2:06.72, a championship record. Gemma Spofforth, Brit winner of the 100m crown here in Rome in a world record of 58.12, claimed lane four of the first semi, in 2:07.69, ahead of 2:07.98 for Elizabeth Beisel (USA).
The bronze medal won by Reiko Nakamura (JPN) in 2:08.54 at Melbourne 2007 would have finished 6th in Rome heats.
Here is the change on the clock in the event since Melbourne 2007 (first figure 2007, second figure 2009) on the all-time world rankings - which I will update when the smoke has stopped streaming from the ears of Nick Thierry, 24-hour man-machine tuned into the elevated pulse of a sport that never rests on its quest to drown history:
World champs compared: