The world swimming championships in Barcelona has seen the fourth world record mark of the week. Russia's Yuliya Efimova set a world best in the 50 meters breaststroke heats.
After taking gold in the 200 meters breaststroke on Friday, Efimova went back into the pool less than 24 hours later to win her heat in the 50 meters version of the event on Saturday morning. She clocked a time of 29.78 seconds in the Barcelona pool, beating American Jessica Hardy's record of 29.80 which she had set in 2009. Hardy swam in the same heat as Efimova on Saturday to qualify second fastest.
Another of Hardy's world records was beaten earlier in the week by Lithuanian teenager Ruta Meilutyte in the 100 meters breaststroke semi-finals.
The other world record times of the week have come from 16-year-old American Katie Ledecky in the 1,500 meters freestyle when she took the gold medal on Tuesday, and Denmark's Rikke Pedersen who set a world best in qualifying for the 200 meters breaststroke on Thursday.
Germany's Dorothea Brandt qualified in 5th place for the semi-finals of the 50 meters freestyle on Saturday. On Friday, compatriot Marco Koch won the country's first medal in the pool when he took silver in the 200m breaststroke.
American teenager Missy Franklin goes for a record-equaling fifth gold medal when she competes in the final of the 200 meters backstroke on Saturday. The 18-year-old has already pocketed two relay titles and gold medals in the 200 meters freestyle and 100 meters backstroke. A fifth medal would tie her in the record books with American Tracy Caulkins who won five medals in 1978 and Australian Libby Trickett in 2007.
American Ryan Lochte swam three times in the Friday afternoon and evening sessions. He took gold in the 200 meters backstroke, then set the fastest time in the semi-finals of the 100 meters butterfly before finishing the night with gold in the final of the 4x200 meters freestyle relay.
Lochte said afterwards: "No matter the outcome in the first and second races, I had to pull it together for Team USA. When you are in a relay, you don’t care about the pain, you don’t care about anything like that. You just get up there and put together a good race for the other guys."
jm/ccp (Reuters, AFP)