Hosszu Wins World Championships Bronze
July 27, 2009
American Rebecca Soni and Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, teammates on the 2009 USC women's swimming team, broke a world record and won a bronze medal, respectively, on the second day of the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Italy, on Monday (July 27).
Soni, a 2009 USC graduate and three-time 2008 Olympic medalist who already possessed the world record in the 200m breast, shattered the standard in the 100m breast semifinals to qualify as the top seed in Tuesday's final.
Soni won silver in the 100m breast at the 2008 Olympics behind Australia's Leisel Jones. But with Jones taking a year off from swimming, Soni has become the world's top breaststroker. Jones' world record of 1:05.09 was reduced to rubble when Soni clocked a 1:04.84, finishing a full second ahead of second-place qualifier Yuliya Efimova of Russia.
"It is only a semi, but I think for the finals it is more important to push for the gold medal," Soni told reporters. "This was my race to see what I could do with time. Still going to come back tomorrow and try to do it again. It helped a lot to finish my senior year of college at USC, and then got back right in the water."
Meanwhile, during the final event of Monday's competition, Hosszu, a sophomore, was part of the fastest finish ever in the women's 200m IM. After qualifying seventh out of the semifinals, Hosszu won bronze in 2:07.46, becoming the third-fastest woman ever in the race. The two women faster, America's Ariana Kukors (2:06.15) and Australia's Stephanie Rice (2:07.03), won gold and silver, respectively, with those times.
Trojan incoming freshman Haley Anderson just missed earning a spot in the final of the 800m free. The 17-year old swam a 16:20.62 to finish ninth, less than four seconds out of eighth place and a finals berth. She'll get another shot at making a final in the 800m free later in the meet.
Hayley McGregory, who had a brief career at USC, made the final of the women's 100m back.