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August 9, 2009

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Hardy breaks 100 breaststroke mark

JESSICA Hardy broke the world record in the 100-meter breaststroke by nearly half a second at the US Open in Federal Way, Washington, on Friday.

The American was timed in one minute, 4.45 seconds, lowering the old mark of 1:04.84 set by compatriot Rebecca Soni at the world championships in Rome on July 27. It was Hardy's second world mark in as many nights in her comeback from a doping ban. She set the world record in the 50 breaststroke with a split of 29.95 seconds in a heat for the 100 breaststroke on Thursday. Hardy had qualified for the 2008 US Olympic team but withdrew from the Beijing Games after testing positive for the anabolic agent clenbuterol in Omaha in July last year. Her one-year ban ended on July 31, meaning she missed the world championships. Meanwhile, Canada's Annamay Pierse broke her own world record in the women's 200 breaststroke at the British Short Course Grand Prix in Leeds on Friday. Pierse clocked 2:16.83 to beat her previous mark of 2:17.50 set earlier this year.


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