Peirsol completes record double

INDIANAPOLIS: Aaron Peirsol completed a world record double at the US Swimming Championships with his 200m backstroke triumph on Saturday, but said the battle for supremacy in the event remains wide open.

Peirsol clocked 1min 53.08sec to win the 200m backstroke over Ryan Lochte, and eclipse the world record of 1:53.94 set by Lochte in winning Olympic gold in Beijing last August.

The performance, in which Peirsol had surged to a commanding advantage by the final turn and held on to the finish, came three days after Peirsol reclaimed the 100m backstroke world record with a time of 51.94sec. Pleased as he was with the time, Peirsol was mindful of the fact that it wasn’t the fastest time ever.

Japan’s Ryosuke Irie swam 1:52.86 at a Japan vs Australia meeting in Canberra on May 10, slicing 1.08 seconds off Lochte’s Beijing Games mark. But FINA refused to ratify the time as a world record because Irie raced in a waist-to-ankle high-tech swimusuit from Japanese manufacturer Descente that didn’t have the green-light from swimming’s world governing body.

Two breaststroke world records came under attack on Saturday, as Eric Shanteau tried to get one and Beijing gold medallist Rebecca Soni tried to improve one. Shanteau lowered the American record in the men’s 200m breaststroke twice in one day, winning the title in 2:08.01. His heat time of 2:08.43 had broken the American mark set by Brendan Hansen in 2006.