Monday, August 11, 2008

Men's 100m Backstroke: Peirsol (USA) grabs gold and world record

Men's 100m Backstroke: Peirsol (USA) grabs gold and world record
Peirsol celebrates his win. (Photo credit: Chen Kai/Xinhua)

(BEIJING, August 12) -- Aaron Peirsol of the United States came back from a lackluster semifinal swim to win the gold medal in the Men's 100m Backstroke final at the National Aquatics Center on Tuesday, August 12.

Peirsol, the defending champion and world record holder, qualified fifth fastest in 53.56 for the final but showed his class in swimming down Liam Tancock of Great Britain who turned in front at the 50m 0.49 seconds under the world record mark.

Peirsol surged ahead to win comfortably in 52.45 to beat the world record of 52.89 he set in July.

After qualifying second fastest for the final, Peirsol's USA teammate Matt Grevers finished with the silver medal in 53.11.

Hayden Stoeckel of Australia, who qualified fastest for the final in an Olympic record 52.97, deadheated with Russia's Arkady Vyatchanin for the bronze medal in 53.18.

Tancock faded badly in the final 50m to finish sixth.

Peirsol has confirmed his dominance of this event in emphatic fashion despite slow heat and semifinal swims. His form will be a shot in the arm for the US Men's 4 x 100m Medley Relay team with Phelps also in such irresistible form and they must go into the event as unbackable favorites.

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