Soni Sets World Records

Dec. 19, 2009

In a meet pitting American and European all-star swimmers in a three-day short course friendly, former Trojan great Rebecca Soni has broken two breaststroke world records in the first two days of the 2009 Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool in Manchester, England.

Soni was one of five American world records Friday (Dec. 18) as she won the 200m breast, her specialty, in 2:14.57, beatinf the previous mark, held by Australia's Leisel Jones, by almost a second (2:15.42). Soni clobbered Tara Kirk's 2004 American record of 2:20.70.

The 2009 U.S. Female Swimmer of the Year followed up the record with a huge performance in Saturday's 100m breast, becoming the first woman to break the 1:03 barrier.

Soni, who won a World Championship gold in the 100m breast (long course) this summer, won the race in 1:02.70, erasing Jones' previous standard of 1:03.00. American Trojan Club teammate Jessica Hardy was second. Hardy held the previous American record in the race (1:03.30).

The bi-annual Duel in the Pool is a made-for-TV event. Competition footage from the event will be broadcast as a two-hour special on NBC, Dec. 27 from 2-4 p.m. ET. World-record swims will earn up to $15,000 (U.S. dollars) bonus and $1,000 will be awarded to swimmers for each win at the meet.

This is the fourth Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool in the history of USA Swimming. Past Duels were held in 2003, 2005 and 2007 and pit all-star teams from the U.S. and Australia against each other. The U.S. is 3-0 in the history of the Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool. For more information about this year's Duel, visit www.duelinthepool.com or www.usaswimming.org.

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