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SwimNews.com - Craig Lord: Smoliga Smokes It With 56.64 Surprise
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Smoliga Smokes It With 56.64 Surprise

Dec 13, 2012  - Craig Lord

Istanbul, World Short-Course Championships, Day 2 finals: 

Women's 100m backstroke

Sixth at the half-way turn in 27.90, Olivia Smoliga, an American 18-year-old out on the wing in lane 1, stormed past more experienced rivals on the way home to a 56.64 victory. The silver went to Mie Nielsen (DEN) in 57.07, bronze to Simona Baumrtova (CZE) in 57.18, the half-way leader Rachel Goh (AUS) locked out in 57.31, Britain's Georgia Davies 0.01sec away.

Smoliga's win marks a huge step up: on 59.82 long-course at US trials but never having registered a short-course metres time, she is now second-best ever American in between the 55.97 of 2004 and 2008 Olympic champion Natalie Coughlin and the 56.73 best of 2012 Olympic champion Melissa Franklin.

The result:

  • Smoliga      27.90 56.64 (28.74)
  • Nielsen       27.79 57.07 (29.28)
  • Baumrtova  27.79 57.18 (29.39)

Dubai 2010:

  • Natalie Coughlin (USA) 56.08 CR
  • Zhao Jing (CHN) 56.18
  • Gao Chang (CHN) 56.21

History in the making:

World s/c Podiums

  • 2012: 56.64; 57.07; 57.18
  • 2010: 56.08; 56.18; 56.21
  • 2008: 57.10; 57.15; 57.80
  • 2006: 58.02; 58.27; 58.74

Most world titles in this event:  2

Haley Cope (USA) 2002,04

World Records

  • WR: 55.23 Shiho Sakai (JPN) 15.11.09
  • TB: 55.97 Natalie Coughlin (USA) 16.12.10

All-time textile rankings top 5:

  • 55.97 Coughlin 
  • 56.18 Zhao 
  • 56.21 Gao 
  • 56.28 Terakawa 
  • 56.43 Sakai