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The start of something extraordinary

World Record Comes and Goes For Fa’amausili

Fifteen-year-old Gabrielle Fa’amausili may have set a record for the shortest standing world record on the fourth day of heats at the FINA World Junior Championships in Singapore.

Fa’amausili, from Auckland’s United club, was the defending champion in the 50m backstroke, and set the pool alight when she broke the world record in clocking 28.09s in the penultimate heat today. It bettered her previous best of 28.14s, set in winning the world title two years ago.

The world record lasted a minute until Australian Minna Atherton, the 100m and 200m backstroke winner, went 28.00s to lower the mark again in the final heat.

Fa’amausili went through as the second fastest to tonight’s semifinals along with teammate Bobbi Gichard who clocked a healthy 29.12s to be seventh fastest.

The backstroke stars were the only New Zealanders to qualify today.

In other Kiwi swims, North Shore’s Wilrich Coetzee recorded a personal best 25.30 to be 30th fastest in heats of the 50m butterfly.

His fellow North Shore teammate Yeonsu Lee had a demanding schedule. The 16 year old set a four second personal best of4:21.76 to be 24th fastest in the 400m freestyle, and returned in the next race to clock 2:21.24 for 26th fastest in the 200m individual medley.

Auckland’s Annabelle Paterson clocked a personal best 4:22.54 to be 28th fastest in the 400m freestyle.

The fifth World Junior Swimming Championships, staged at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, runs until Sunday.