WR: Coventry 2:04.91; Zueva Cracks 2:05
Aug 1, 2009 - Craig Lord
Rome 2009, Day 7
Women's 200m backstroke final:
Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) and her LZR responded to the challenge of Anastasia Zueva (RUS) and her X-Glide with a world record of 2:04.81, to a European record of 2:04.94 in the 200m backstroke final. The bronze went to Elizabeth Beisel (USA), on 2:06.39, 0.27sec ahead of Gemma Spofforth (GBR), the 100m champion here in Rome and on 2:06.66.
Zueva's time knocked out the last remaining European record from the pre-non-textile era: Krisztina Egerszegi's 2:06.61 from 1991 is gone. If FINA and LEN get the record mess sorted out in an orderly fashion, the Egerszegi's time should be the Standard Time from which the next generation can be inspired.
Coventry was inside her own world-record pace at 50m but fell slightly off at 100m and was 0.12sec outside target by the last turn. Then, she saw Zueva, at that point 0.77sec behind but moving fast in her X-Glide out of the turn. Coventry is a class act in whatever suit she wears and found the strength to hold on for victory 0.43sec inside the world record she set in Beijing last year.
The splits compared: