Soni Sets 200m Breast WR, Qualifies For Final
Aug. 1, 2012
USC great Rebecca Soni reclaimed the world record in the 200m breaststroke with a dominant semifinal swim Wednesday (Aug. 1) at the 2012 London Olympics, further solidifying her favorite-status heading into Thursday's final.
Soni, who just missed gold in the 100m breast on Monday, clocked a 2:20.00 to erase Canadian Annamay Pierse's 2009 time of 2:20.12. Soni's time gives her three of the top 4 fastest ever in the race and four of the top 7.
After registering a 2:21.40 to advance out of prelims, Soni swam in the second semifinal heat and, as expected, led start to finish en route to the world record. Her previous best time was a 2:20.22 in her gold medal swim in Beijing.
Soni finished well ahead of second-place finisher Satomi Suzuki (2:22.40) of Japan in the second heat. Denmark's Rikke Pedersen (2:22.23) was the top finisher in the first semifinal and will be seeded second in the final.
Soni will enter tomorrow's final as the only one in the field to break 2:22.00. The race is scheduled to begin at 11:40 a.m. PT.
In earlier action, incoming USC freshman Katarzyna Wilk finished 27th in the 100m free in 56.13. She also swam on Poland's 800m free relay, which finished 16th in prelims.
Trojan star Katinka Hosszu concluded her Olympic schedule for Hungary in the relay as well and her squad finished ninth in prelims (7:54.58), 0.02 out of the final.
Also in the women's 800m free relay prelims, incoming USC graduate student Margaux Farrell helped France qualify for the finals. Her French teammates later won bronze in the final, giving Farrell a medal as well. She swam collegiately at Indiana, but will attend the USC Annenberg School of Communications this fall.
Soni won't be the only Trojan swimming Thursday. USC junior Lynette Lim is set to race in the prelims of the 800m freestyle tomorrow while former Trojan All-American Clement Lefert, already with a relay gold and silver, will compete in the prelims of the 100m butterfly.