Rebecca Soni Top Seed In Olympic 200-Meter Breaststroke Final

Aug. 14, 2008


Just two days after winning a silver medal in the 100-meter breaststroke, USC senior Rebecca Soni has qualified for the final of the 200-meter breaststroke with the fastest time out of the semifinal heats Thursday morning at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Soni broke the American record in the 200m breast Wednesday night in China with a preliminary swim of 2:22.17, lowering the previous mark of 2:22.44 set by Amanda Beard at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials.

She then qualified for the final with a 2:22.64, the fastest swim among the 16 semifinalists vying for the eight final spots.

Soni's American record in prelims made her the second fastest woman all-time in the race. The fastest is Australian Leisel Jones, who earlier in the week won gold in the 100m breast.

Jones was second to Soni in both the prelims and the semis but is still considered the favorite for the gold. Jones' world record in the race is 2:20.54, set in 2006.

The final is scheduled for Friday at 10:12 a.m. in Beijing, or Thursday at 7:12 p.m. PST.

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