Zueva earns first Russian gold at swimming worlds

Russia's Anastasia Zueva smiles after she competed in the semi-finals of the women's 50-metre backstroke swimming event in the FINA World Championships at the indoor stadium of the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai on July 27, 2011 (AFP Photo / Peter Parks)
Fastest qualifier Anastasia Zueva of Russia has carried through that form as she rushed to victory at the women's 50-meter backstroke at the World Swimming Championships in Shanghai.

The European champion at 50 and 100 meters finished the race in 27.79 seconds, leaving behind Aya Terakawa of Japan with 27.93 and American Missy Franklin with 28.01.

“I didn’t concentrate much on winning this very race, as it’s a non-Olympic discipline. But my coach was sure I would win,” said the Russian, who earlier came second in the 100 backstroke, just one hundredth of a second behind the winner.

This is Russia’s first win in the Shanghai pool and only second woman’s gold at the World Championships in the country’s modern history.

Also on Thursday, Ryan Lochte set the first world record since high-tech body suits were banned in swimming, breaking his own mark in winning the 200-meter individual medley at the world championships.

The American finished in 1 minute 54.00 seconds ahead of decorated compatriot Michael Phelps and Laszlo Cseh of Hungary.

Meanwhile, James Magnussen won the Men's 100 meters freestyle in a time of 47.63 seconds, becoming the first Australian to do so at a World Championship, and the first at a major international meet since Michael Wenden at the 1968 Olympics. Canadian Brent Hayden took silver in 47.95, and William Meynard of France earned the bronze in 48.00. World Record holder Cesar Cielo of Brazil finished fourth.

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