Time of 56.15s bests Coughlin's mark

Updated: February 22, 2009, 3:34 PM ET
Associated Press

TOKYO -- Japanese teenager Shiho Sakai set a short-course world record in the women's 100-meter backstroke on the final day of Japan's national championship Sunday.

Sakai touched the wall in 56.15 seconds to take 0.36 off the mark set by American Natalie Coughlin in November 2007.

"Before the race I was thinking about going for the world record," Sakai said. "But I was still surprised when I saw the time and am very happy."

Sakai, an 18-year-old high school student from Fukuoka, Japan, also broke her own Japanese short-course record of 56.70.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press