Japan's Ryosuke Irie sets backstroke world record

CANBERRA: Japan's Ryosuke Irie set a world record in the men's 200-meter backstroke at an inter-country meet against Australia on Sunday.

Irie set a time of one minute, 52.86 seconds, beating the previous record, set by American Ryan Lochte in last year's Olympics, by more than a second.

The 19-year-old Irie won Sunday's race by more than five seconds from Australia's Ashley Delaney and Japan's Takashi Nakano.

Pumping his fists after the race, the 19-year-old Irie appeared to be overwhelmed.

"I couldn't think I could go that fast," he told Australian television's Network Ten through a translator. "I can say only one phrase: unbelievable." "I am going to swim in the world championships (in July in Rome) and I am going to break it (the world record) again." The world record came a day after Irie came within 0.02 seconds of the world record in the 100-meter backstroke, held by American Aaron Piersol.