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Relay record as Libby lights up Shanghai

Written by: Staff
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SHANGHAI, Apr 7 (Reuters) Libby Lenton anchored a world record 4x200 medley effort and grabbed an individual gold on another stellar night for the Australian women at the world short course swimming championships today.

The understrength United States team also had a good evening with Ryan Lochte winning the men's 200 medley in world record time for his second title of the week, one of three golds for Americans on the third day of competition in Shanghai.

Brooke Hanson added to Australia's medal haul and made up for her disappointment in narrowly losing out to compatriot Jade Edmistone in the 50 breastroke yesterday by claiming the 100 medley in 1:00.16, but the evening belonged to Lenton.

The 21-year-old Queenslander opened the session by retaining her 100 freestyle crown and closed it by joining Tay Zimmer, Edmistone and Jessicah Schipper to knock more than three seconds off the world mark she helped set in Indianapolis two years ago.

Lenton, who won five golds and two silvers at the recent Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, touched in 52.33 seconds to win the 100 freestyle from Dutch swimmer Magdalena Veldhuis for her second gold of the week after her contribution to Wednesday's 4x200 freestyle relay triumph.

''It's been very hard to sustain my intensity but that was a good time in a good field so to win was great,'' said Lenton, who will race in six events in five days in Shanghai.

The relay team then clocked 3:51.84 to beat the American quartet by nearly four seconds. China's bronze for third was the only medal success of the day for the host nation.

Lochte followed his 400 individual medley success on Thursday by claiming the 200 in 1:53.31 and just beating the world mark of 1:53.46 set by Hungarian Laszlo Cseh last December in Trieste.

Kate Ziegler beat Australian Bronte Barratt into second place in the 400 freestyle and Margaret Hoelzer held off Zimmer in the 200 backstroke for the other American successes.

Cullen Jones, however, had to settle for second in the 50 freestyle behind Croatia's Duje Draganja after setting a championship record in the heats yesterday.

Therese Alshammar won the women's 50 butterfly, while Vladislav Polyakov of Kazakhstan struck gold in the men's 200 breaststroke with his compatriot Yevgeniy Ryzhkov claiming bronze behind Australian Brenton Rickard.

REUTERS PDS BS2158

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