DURBAN, South Africa -- American Jessica Hardy bettered
her own 50-meter breaststroke short-course world record at the
World Cup on Saturday.
Hardy swept home in 29.45 seconds to beat her previous mark
of 29.58 set in Manchester, England in April 2008.
"I haven't been swimming as well as I would have liked so to
have started so well in the World Cup series is great," Hardy
"It was an easy swim and I would have been happy with just a
good time," she added.
The 22-year-old was in control of the race from the start as
she held off the German pair of Kerstin Vogel, who finished
second in 30.57, and Caroline Ruhnau who came third in 31.01.
Meanwhile, American Peter Marshall broke the
50-meter backstroke short-course world record with a time of
Marshall eclipsed the mark of 22.87 set by
compatriot Randall Ball in Berlin in November 2008.
"I thought I had a good chance of breaking the record," the
27-year-old said. "I felt pretty good swimming the 100 [on Friday] and my sprinting is pretty good at the moment.
"As the [World Cup] series goes on my endurance will improve
which will improve my 100 meters times."
Marshall was rarely tested in the 50, comfortably holding
off second-placed Stanislav Donets of Russia (23.63). Ashley
Delaney of Australia was third in 23.74.
Hardy and Marshall weren't alone as Sweden's Therese Alshammar has
set her sights on more records after breaking two short course
world marks on Saturday.
The 32-year-old Alshammar posted a time of 24.75 seconds in
the 50-meter butterfly final, the last race of the meeting, to
eclipse the record of 24.99 set by Australia's Marieke Guehrer
in Berlin in November 2008.
Guehrer came second in Durban in 25.07 while Netherlands'
Hinkelien Schreuder claimed third place in 25.50.
Alshammar had already broken the 100-meter individual
medley world record in the morning heats as she clocked 58.51 to
better the previous mark of 58.54 set by Australia's Emily
Seebohm in Hobart, Australia in August this year.
"I hope for more world records otherwise I wouldn't be
standing here," Alshammar told reporters after her second win.
The Swede, who won silver medals in the 50 and 100 freestyle
at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, said her training regime and a
growing maturity helped her set records.
"I had a great year in the pool last year and then I trained
for six months in Sydney. It was a great experience and I learnt
not to expect too much too soon and when things happen for you
it makes it all the more special," she said.
Information from Reuters contributed to this report.