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November 13, 2009

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Liu and Zhao set records, Phelps flops

CHINA'S Liu Zige has set a world record in the women's 200-meter butterfly at the short-course World Cup meet in Stockholm, Sweden.

Liu won in 2 minutes, 2.5 seconds on Wednesday, beating the previous record by Yuko Nakanishi of Japan. Nakanishi set her record in Tokyo in February 2008.

It was the seventh world record at the meet.

Zhao Jing, also of China, set her third world record here in the women's 100-meter individual medley. Zhao won Wednesday's final in 58.40 seconds, surpassing the 58.51 set by Sweden's Therese Alshammar at Durban, South Africa, last month.

On Tuesday, Zhao twice set records in the women's 50 backstroke.

Earlier on Wednesday, Peter Marshall and Jessica Hardy of the United States broke their own world records in the men's 50-meter backstroke and women's 50-meter breaststroke, respectively.

Records were also set by Felicity Galvez of Australia in the women's 100 butterfly and Kaio Almeida of Brazil in the men's 200 butterfly.

Meanwhile, Michael Phelps will leave the Swedish capital without a win in five events over two days after finishing second in the 200 meters medley final on Wednesday.

The American, sporting a beard, finished the Eriksdalsbadet course in one minute 53.93 seconds behind South African Darian Townsend who finished in 1:51.79.

"I wanted to be faster than I was this morning and I was," said Phelps, who said he needed conditioning to get back to his best.

Phelps had come into the final with the tied second best time.

"I'm swimming okay, I have not been training regularly ... One point 53 is not bad."

Phelps failed during the morning heats to make it into the 100 meters butterfly final despite producing a short course personal best.

The American has, unlike most other swimmers, decided not to compete in the high-tech bodysuit which will be banned from January 1. He made it into only one of three finals on Tuesday, finishing third in the 100 meters medley.

The Stockholm meeting is the first short course event since 2006 for Phelps, who won eight Olympic golds last year and five titles at the world championships in Rome in July and August.


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