In a
great night for Australia’s women swimmers, Giaan Rooney won gold in the 50m backstroke. This is Australia’s
sixth gold medal at the FINA World Swimming Championships.

It’s
been an amazing turnaround for the glamorous Rooney, the one-time 200m freestyle world champion who
switched to backstroke after almost retiring, who’s now well on track for Olympic
gold in 2008.

Jessicah Schipper
had an incredile near miss when it took a new world record to fractionally tip
her out of gold in the 200m butterfly final by just four hundredths of a second.
Only Poland’s Olympic and world record
holder Otylia Jedrzejczak stood between Schipper
and double gold after winning the 100m final two days earlier. But Schipper can
now stand alone with the fastest ever swim in this event by an Australian woman,
ahead of the likes of former Olympic champs Petria Thomas and Susie
O’Neill.

The
women’s 200m freestyle relay was also a triumph despite a narrow defeat to their
US rivals. In a scorching opening leg
Lisbeth Lenton swam a personal best time to put Australia below
world record pace before falling away by the end. But it
was still a fantastic effort
by this new look combination considering they broke
their best ever time in the event by more than three seconds.

Michael
Phelps failed to place in the 100m men’s freestyle final to continue a
disappointing championships.

Peter Fray

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