Soni breaks 200m breaststroke world record

United States’ Rebecca Soni reacts to her record-setting finish in the women’s 200-meter breaststroke swimming semifinal at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa De Olza)

LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Rebecca Soni reclaimed the world record she lost at the height of the bodysuit war in the women’s 200 meters breaststroke at the London Olympics on Wednesday in an ominous warning of her intentions to defend the title she won in Beijing.

The American showed no lingering effects of her narrow loss in the 100 breaststroke final two days ago as she glided her way through the pool to win her semi-final in a time of two minutes 20.00 seconds.

Her time erased 0.12 off the previous world record of 2:20.12, set by Canada’s Annamay Pierse at the 2009 world championships in Rome when the now-banned polyurethane bodysuits were still allowed.

Soni had previously held the world record which she set at Beijing.

“I felt there was no pressure. I just wanted to feel it and see how it went. I just went for it,” Soni said.

“Anything can happen tomorrow so I’ll save my best for that. I’m really excited, I just have to do it one more time.”

Soni qualified for Thursday’s final more than two seconds, a big margin in elite swimming, ahead of her nearest rival, Denmark’s Rikke Pedersen.

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