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Iranian-American Leila Vaziri smashes world swimming record in FINA World Championships

Source: FINA World Championships in Melbourne, 28 March, 2007
Iranian-American Leila Vaziri has followed up her championship record in the heats of the 50m backstroke with a world record in the semi finals at the 12th FINA World Championships in Melbourne.

Vaziri, who is swimming at her first world championships, clocked a time of 28.16 seconds, 0.03 of a second quicker than the existing record set by Germany's Janine Pietsch in 2005.

Pietsch swam in Vaziri's semi final but could only manage third place in a time of 28.72, behind the American and Japan's Mai Nakamura (28.59).

The semi belonged to Vaziri who swam a fantastic sprint. She launched herself off the wall with plenty of power and maintained her dominating lead ahead of Nakamura for the race's entirety.

Leila Vaziri

The 20-year-old broke the championship record on Wednesday morning in the heats and bettered her personal best time yet again in the semi finals. Everyone will be waiting to see if she can back it up again in Thursday night's final.

"It's the first time I've swum the 50m backstroke so it was unexpected, but I was ready. I missed the top eight in the 100m backstroke so I was ready to go in the 50m," she said.

Aliksandra Herasimenia of Belarus qualified second fastest for the final after winning the first semi in a time of 28.38.

The three swimmers in the middle lanes of that race - Herasimenia, Reiko Nakamura and Jing Zhao - were equal across the pool for much of the time but it was the Belarusian who took the lead.

Reiko Nakamura qualified third fastest (28.58), Mai Nakamura (28.59) fourth and Pietsch took fifth place. China's Zhao Jing was sixth (28.74) and Australian Tayliah Zimmer seventh (28.78). Another Chinese Gao Chang will take the final place in Thursday's final (28.81).

... Payvand News - 3/30/07 ... --

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