Gostomelsky swims into final at worlds

24-year-old touches wall in one minute 0.64 seconds in the heats, then improves to 59.69 seconds in semifinals.

woman swimming 88 (photo credit: )
woman swimming 88
(photo credit: )
Anna Gostomelsky got off to the best possible start on Wednesday at the World Swimming Championships (short course) in Shanghai, China, qualifying for the final of the 100-meter backstroke. The 24-year-old touched the wall in one minute 0.64 seconds in the heats and then improved to 59.69 seconds in the semifinals for the sixth-fastest time of the day. Gostomelsky reached the 200m backstroke final at the 2002 world short course championships and finished eighth. The short course championships differ in that each pool length is 25 meters, as opposed to 50 in an Olympic-regulation pool. If she is able to finish among the top three this time, Gostomelsky will join Micky Halika and Vered Borochovski as the only Israeli swimmers to medal at the world championships. The final is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Israel time on Thursday. Also Monday, Shai Livnat came in 11th out of 58 in the qualifying for the men's 200 freestyle (1:47.16) and 19-year-old Guy Barnea finished 20th among 45 competitors in the men's 100 backstroke (54.11). The fourth member of the Israeli delegation to Shanghai, Yoav Gat, did not compete on the opening day.