(photo credit: REUTERS)
Yakov Toumarkin proved why he is widely regarded as the future star of Israeli
swimming on Thursday, securing his place at next summer’s London Olympics with a
new national record in the 200 meter backstroke at the World Championships in
The 19-year-old clocked a time of 1:58.21 minutes in the
morning heats to eclipse Guy Barnea’s Israeli record by 78 hundredths of a
second and advance to the semifinals from 11th place.
who won gold and bronze medals at the European Junior Swimming Championships
last July before also claiming two silver medals at the Youth Olympics in
Singapore the following month, couldn’t repeat his heroics in the evening semis,
touching the wall after 1:59.92 for 16th position overall.
Thursday, Ryan Lochte became the first swimmer to break a long course world
record since controversial polyurethane swimsuits were banned last year, while
James Magnussen ended a far longer Australian wait.
Lochte, pushed every
stroke of the way, managed to hold off compatriot and Olympic champion Michael
Phelps in the men’s 200 meter individual medley and break his own record in one
minute 54 seconds flat.
The 26-year-old’s performance was 0.10 faster
than the time he set at the Rome world championships in 2009. Phelps was a
fingertip behind in 1:54.16.
While Lochte and Phelps brought the crowd to
their feet in the Oriental Sports Centre, millions of Australians were surely on
theirs shortly afterwards as 20-year-old Magnussen ended the country’s 43-year
wait for the blue riband men’s 100 freestyle title.
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Australia had not won
the title in a global championships since Mike Wenden took Olympic gold in
Mexico City in 1968, and had never won it at a world championships, which began
in 1973.Reuters contributed to this report.
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