Heading into this mornings preliminaries Jessica Hardy held the world record in the 50 breaststroke in a time of 29.80 while the only woman to go under the 30 second barrier since January 1, 2010 had been Lithuanian Ruta Meilutyte, who posted a 29.96 earlier this year.
That all changed very quickly as 200 breaststroke world champion Russian Yuliya Efimova broke Hardy’s world record qualifying for the semi-finals posting a time of 29.78. Hardy also posted a sub 30 touching in a time of 29.99.
Now fast-forward to the semi-finals and things changed very quickly once again. In the first semi-final Jessica Hardy improved on her morning swim finishing in a time of 29.90.
The second semi-final saw Efimova, the new world record go head to head with Meilutyte, the woman who beat her in the 100 breaststroke earlier in the competition.
Just as she did when she broke the world record in the 100 breaststroke semi-final Meilutyte amazed the crowd by posting a time of 29.48. The 16 year olds’ time is absolutely incredible considering that she was 32 one-hundredths of a second under Hardy’s old world record from 2009.
Efimova finished in a time of 29.88.
Qualifying fourth with a time of 30.20 was American Breeja Larason, Petra Chocova qualified fifth in a time of 30.31, 200 breaststroke world record hold Rikke Moeller-Pedersen of Denmark qualified sixth in a time of 30.57, Moniek Nijhuis of the Netherlands qualified seventh in a time of 30.61 followed by Jennie Johansson of Sweden who qualified eighth in a time of 30.66.